The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

The Inflation Spike: What it Will Do & How to Take Advantage

So, many people have noticed there’s been a lot of inflation. Timber is up about three times. There is an international chip shortage (thank you Crypto). The price of everyday goods has risen significantly.

First: No, this isn’t a precursor to hyperinflation in core countries.

Second: Yes, higher inflation is here to stay, beyond what can be concealed by statistical tricks like hedonics. (Assuming the Fed doesn’t hammer the economy into the ground, which I don’t think they will.)

The temporary effect is pandemic driven. A lot of capacity was shuttered during the pandemic, and it will take time for it to ramp up. Once it’s back up, prices will stabilize.

The permanent effect is driven by increased consolidation. A lot of small and medium businesses went out of business during the pandemic, and they aren’t all coming back. They were replaced by larger businesses. Those larger businesses (who, for example, bought up a lot of rental housing) will use their market power to raise prices and they will keep raising prices as long as they have little effective competition (a.k.a., as long as they are oligopolies). In industries like rental properties, they will keep properties off the market to increase prices, because capital is cheap and they can afford to do so.

Right now, this is being mitigated by pandemic government spending, like the additional $300/week for UI benefits. It is also being mitigated, on the low end, by the fact that a decent chunk of the bottom-end died. (Line cooks had the highest pandemic fatality rate of any job class.)

Remember that what matters is not what inflation is, but whether your wages are rising faster than your expenses. If companies are forced to raise wages more than they raise prices, you are better off.

This is why Republican governors removing UI benefits are hurting people. They’ll still get price inflation, without wage inflation, leading to people who are, overall, worse off.

The test here is if Biden, through his fiscal package, can pour money to the poor fast enough to keep the labor market tight. If he does, people’s wages will rise because businesses will have to raise wages to get workers.

If Biden pulls this off, he gets re-elected. He might even win the 2022 midterms. If he doesn’t, he becomes a lame duck President in 2022.

So, if anyone from the administration or Democrats in Congress are reading this, remember: Re-election and keeping power requires flooding poor people with money and good paying jobs like the jobs refitting buildings in the stimulus. Do that, and wage inflation will out-pace price inflation; people will feel great, and you and Biden will soar to re-election and do so with a larger majority which will allow you to do even more — win more seats and create a semi-permanent majority.

It really is that simple and that hard.

For readers, there is still a boom coming, there will be a period where the market is tight (there is already, as I predicted). Get your vaccines, and if you need a job, get one while the getting is good. Consider trading up: See if  you can get a better paying job than the one you have right now.

There is no guarantee Biden and Congress won’t fuck this up and let this turn into price inflation higher than wage inflation, so make while the making is good.

(The more people subscribe or donate the more I write and the happier I am. So please consider doing so if you like my writing.)


Biden Defies Pharma Plan to Never Wipe Out Covid So They Can Profit Forever


The Right of Israel to Exist and the Fresh Hell it Is Heading Towards


  1. Ian Welsh

    Let’s try to keep discussion at least remotely on target. In particular, Covid comments can be put in the open thread, in the Roundup if it has any articles related to Covid, or in any posts actually directly related to Covid.

  2. Astrid

    Seems like a profoundly optimistic expectation about a very evil and venal man. I know Biden throw out some decent looking numbers but he hasn’t passed anything yet and seems quite ready to stop because Joe Manchin.

    Meanwhile the MSM is literally editing Palestinians out of existence (

    Steve Donziger is back in court and Craig Murray got sentenced to 8 months in prison for the crime of journalism. Lawfare for everyone!

  3. Effem

    For two decades we’ve discussed the lack of labor power, monopsony, automation, etc. Now all of a sudden we think wages are going to outpace inflation? I’ll be very very surprised if that’s the outcome. Inflation is a highly regressive tax and Biden is insane for unleashing it. (and what of all those on fixed incomes?!)

  4. Astrid

    Also Biden just made clear that he wanted the slackers to get back to work.

  5. NL

    Sorry to be an inflation party pooper — but no. The FED is right — inflation will be transitory. The corporates understand that once they start paying higher wages they will have to keep on going, and it will end up in inflation (cause inflation = wages = unemployment rate, the FED does not have a dual mandate, it is the same mandate, to the monetary illiterates on this blog, this may come as a surprise). This is called in the business and econ speak as “unmooring inflationary expectations”, which in real world means employees expect substantial yearly salary increases and be paid more next year. So, the corporates will not go this way. They are screaming at the oligarchs that are currently running the country to end the extra unemployment benefits, and these benefits will end and soon one way or the other (on the federal or individual state level). And the multitude will go back to sell their labor for what it is offered — that’s how the economy works — no access to land thus need to sell your muscle or brain to earn pennies to buy food. Most, if not all, of you here are likely nothing but labor, selling your brain to get some dollars to afford your food and internet. You know how it is.

    Once the extra money given to the population via monetary transfers (aka unemployment benefits and those one time payments) or accumulated by the technocrats as savings of not having to commute to work are sucked out, increases in prices will end, cause where will the people get money to pay higher prices? They will not, and we are back to the previous equilibrium.

    This is of course in the short term like 1-2 years, longer term many things can upset the equilibrium. And this is almost irrelevant to to the accumulation of (notional) wealth by the oligarchy, cause – kids – you should know that wealth comes through financial engineering and debt issuance…

  6. NL

    Of course, ‘inflation’ in goods purchased by oligarchs will continue: land, yachts, mansions, private school education, education at the Ivy League and other prestigious universities, islands, plastic surgery, art, ect — the prices of that will go up. In this regard, we will be less and less able to get any of that. For the 80-90% of the population in the lower socioeconomic tier, this does not matter, cause they did not buy any of that in the first place. But for the high level technocrats, they will become poorer relative the oligarchs.

    I am not sure state school education and medical cost will rise further. Medical doctors are nothing but labor, and this pandemic brought some disruptions and an oversupply of doctors (cause people stopped doing elective stuff) — will see how this play out.

    And of course, a notional end to a pandemic is not a medical end the pandemic.

  7. Ché Pasa

    Inflation was running higher than the stated rate for the things most of us need for living long before the Pandemic was let loose on the world. Groceries, rent, transportation, utilities, insurance, prescriptions and medical care, etc., were going up at a smart clip annually for ordinary people, and for some reason (Hugh can explain) very little of that inflation was being accounted for in the official statistics (because smart tv prices were going down?)

    Cost of living for ordinary folks was getting higher and higher while wages continued to stagnate, and people on pensions, social security or other forms of fixed-low income were shit out of luck.

    With the Pandemic, certain things shot up in price, other things remained stable, some actually declined.

    I can only track my own costs. Groceries up about 20% overall (and still rising) since the onset of the Pandemic. Some shelves are still bare or nearly so as supplies are still limited.

    Gasoline, after first falling in price to practically nothing when people weren’t driving at all to the highest prices we’ve seen in years — since well before the Pandemic. 30%-50% higher. Recent outages are raising price more in some areas. Lumber is not feasible for most people to consider at all at today’s prices (which will, supposedly, go down within a year or so.) Services, like home renovation, are impossible. Not only are costs astronomical, there are so few available contractors, there may as well be none.

    Automobiles — new or used — cost more and more; there has been constant inflation which never seems to get included in COL stats. Vehicle service and maintenance keeps getting more and more expensive.

    Many of the clothes I used to buy regularly are unavailable or cost 30% – 50% more if they are available.

    My medical care costs have gone down substantially — and I’m not sure why. That’s nice, but it doesn’t make up for the many thousands more we are spending for daily needs.

    Essentially, most or all of the extra income many have received since the start of the Pandemic has been sucked up by higher prices for necessities. Which, we’re told, is likely to continue, but without any extra income for many.

    Will wages rise? So far, no. Employers are fiercely resisting any increase in wages “during a Pandemic!” for low status employees. This is supposedly particularly true in the food service industry where many employers shut down altogether rather than pay people more. But it’s not solely there at all. Remember, health care workers had their wages and hours cut in many, many places last year, and so far they haven’t been made whole and may not be any time soon. This or something similar happened in many industries, so the baseline for a lot of employees is lower than it was before the Pandemic. An increase in wages from that baseline may not get a worker back to where they were before the Pandemic. (Same thing happened as people slowly went back to work after the Great Financial Meltdown some years back.)

    Pressure continues to build on both the oligarchical class and the working class. People can endure a lot but at some point this unsustainable situation will snap. For the moment, government seems to be on the side of the working class. How much longer is anyone’s guess.

  8. Mary Bennett

    Rising prices on everyday goods and things like building materials could maybe be used as leverage to persuade local municipalities to pass use it or lose it laws pertaining to empty properties. This has previously been almost impossible owing to the death grip RE and commercial interests have on local govts. No help can be expected from the left, which thinks local govt. is boring.

  9. Jason

    This is pertinent. Remember, the Democrats are the Good Guys:

    Biden’s sweeping — and fluid — tax plans are making some congressional Democrats nervous

    Pockets of skepticism have emerged within Biden’s party over White House plans to raise the corporate tax rate, revamp the international tax system and double tax rates on wealthy investors, among other measures critical to the administration’s plans. The party faces regional divides over taxes as well, with farm-state Democrats skittish about taxes on heirs and coastal Democrats demanding the repeal of limits on state and local tax deductions, which would amount to an expensive tax cut that would require higher taxes elsewhere.

    The unease could have major implications for his domestic agenda, as Biden has said he does not want new spending to be added to the deficit.

  10. Mr Jones


    lol @ “Pockets of skepticism have emerged…”

    They just “emerged” out of nowhere! And skepticism? How about deep-seated anathema towards any policies that will in any way change the status quo and/or that might lead to larger, structural changes.

  11. Jason

    Jane McAlevey is passionate as hell. The two most important points from this interview:

    1) In our system as currently structured, ultimately the only way to affect change is to withhold our labor.

    2) This will become even more obvious as any positive changes that are won through the legislature will quickly be reversed by the Supreme Court.

    Jane is also honest. One of the first things she says: Unions are a pain in the ass (not meaning a pain in the ass to employers, meaning they’re a pain in the ass in their own right – a burden, but a necessary one).

    She also debunks the notion that organizing takes a long time – an issue that turns off a lot of the younger generation.

  12. Jason

    Ian, I hope this doesn’t stray too far from your original post. Labor and inflation are obviously interrelated, and I think the historical and contemporary analysis in this interview are important, and Jane McAlevey approaches it with a savviness that is often absent among more academic, long-form journalism.

    Briahan Joy Gray does an excellent job illustrating differences within “the left” and attempting to understand both, or all, sides. Her questions and commentary expand understanding, and her earnest attempts at mediation never sacrifice the underlying principles in the interest of just getting along, as is so often the case.

  13. js

    “No help can be expected from the left, which thinks local govt. is boring.”

    what left thinks local government is boring, the DSA is forever running local government candidates, and that’s the most active somewhat left organization there is. Unless “left” means the Dem party apparatus.

    What local government IS sometimes is insanely corrupt. But then I suppose so is the Fed gov, but local government can rival it in corruption and them some.

  14. anon

    I’m not an economist so I can only speak from personal experience. This inflation spike will largely continue to benefit the rich. The average citizen will struggle to keep up with rising costs. No amount of raise in wages will keep up with price inflation. If you are a well educated working professional, there are opportunities to increase one’s salary in the tens of thousands of dollars if you can jump to a higher job title at a different company (from assistant director to executive director, from associate to partner, as examples). Everyone else working in the service sector should not expect to get a raise large enough to help pay for a massive increase in services and goods.

    I bought a gently used car with low mileage about six months before the pandemic started. A relative looked into buying a car late last year and the same vehicle I bought in Summer 2019 was already around $5k more expensive. Unfortunately, I did not decide to buy a house in 2019 even though I had started looking around that time. Now I regret not purchasing a house that would have been at least $75k cheaper a little over a year and a half ago. Rent is higher in some areas, real estate is astronomical, so is buying a car, gasoline, home renovations, groceries, you name it.

    My guess is at some point this decade this inflationary bubble will burst. Either way, regular people are screwed. If prices continue to go higher, good luck to Millennials and Gen Zers wanting to buy a house and car. The rich will continue to put money into the stock market and real estate market, building up their investment portfolio and using their additional homes to rent out or use as vacation property. If the bubble bursts, regular people now buying overvalued houses with waived inspection and appraisals will have an underwater mortgage if the housing market goes down just by even a bit. Corporations like BlackRock will then swoop in to buy up more foreclosed property.

    These are precarious times unless you have a secure job and the wealth to weather a black swan event. Count yourself lucky if you have a stable job, a dependable vehicle, and held onto any real estate bought before March 2020. I am cautiously optimistic but saving money to prepare for any sort of volatility this decade.

  15. Hugh

    Ché Pasa raised the issue of measuring inflation. In the US, the most common official statistic is the Consumer Price Index (CPI). It is a prime example of the point that if you want to understand the numbers, you need to know the definitions. And even then, that may not help your confidence in them.

    First off, there isn’t one but 3 or so CPIs and a lot of baby CPIs running around. The CPI-W covers employed clerical workers, as a stand-in for working class Americans, about 29% of us according to the BLS. The official official CPI is the CPI-U. It covers some 93% of Americans, per the BLS, and is composed of urban Americans. Then there is the chained CPI-U which equates your downward movement from fresh fish to catfood. The CPI is an urban dwellers only kind of measure. So if Ché Pasa lives in a rural area, he doesn’t count.

    Data is collected in 75 urban areas from 6,000 households and 20,000 retail establishments. In person data collection was suspended during the covid pandemic. However, “Prices of fuels and
    a few other items are obtained every month in all 75 locations. Prices of most other commodities and services are collected every month in the three largest geographic areas and every other month in other areas.” On top of this, items are assigned weights to reflect what part of a consumer’s monthly spending they represent. If you get the feeling you are passing into a statistical wonderland, I sympathize. The BLS uses both seasonally adjusted and unadjusted data, and it edits out spikes as “distortions.”

    This leads to meaningful-sounding meaningless statements like the following: “Food prices advanced 3.5 percent over the past 12 months (since March), while energy prices increased 13.2 percent over that period. Prices for all items less food and energy rose 1.6 percent.” So if you do not eat or drink, drive anywhere, or use electricity, good news!!!

  16. Ché Pasa

    Inflation: I just bought a set of tires, same style/brand as a little over two years ago.

    Price today: 25% higher.

    But that doesn’t figure into “prices for all items less food, etc.” does it?

    And this is happening to all sorts of items people need in daily life, not things they can easily do without or substitute.

    Income is slightly lower than 2 1/2 years ago even with supplemental payments. And this is the case for many, many people.

    So as costs continue to rise, incomes stay flat or decline. Perfect recipe for… something… no?

    It’s good that the government is saying “Pay workers more!” We’ll see where it leads.

  17. NL

    Che Pasa
    “So as costs continue to rise, incomes stay flat or decline. Perfect recipe for… something… no?”

    Well, there is always revolving debt and second mortgages. WSJ reports: “Credit-Card Debt Keeps Falling. Banks Are On Edge.”

    “Capital One Financial Corp . said that nearly half of the credit-card balances it had at the beginning of March were paid off by the end of the month, which the company described as historically high.”

    Che, don’t spoil the economic recovery, whip your credit card and charge those tires in it.

  18. Ché Pasa

    Ah yes! Credit cards! Salvation!

    I keep getting offers, like most people do, I guess. “0% interest! For so many months! Sign up now!” Then: ‘22% to 29% interest, not penalty rate, the offered rate. Oh boy. This from banks that are still getting their free money from the various programs for the Too Bigs to Fail.

    Shop for the lowest interest rates, right? They don’t really exist unless you’re too rich to need credit and only see it as a sometime convenience. For schlubs and rabble? Nuh-unh. 20%-30% is the best most can do, and once you’re on that merry go round, it’s pretty much impossible to get off.

    Which is why the current decline in indebtedness — by the common folk — is so worrying to the Overclass. Damn! They’re using “stimulus” money to pay off their accumulated debts! Can’t have that. That’s not stimulus! In fact, it is. Paying down debt frees income for spending, and the more debt paid off, the more spending from income (ie: regularly) you can do. Who knew?

    At the outset of the Great Recession, I advocated allotting every household $50,000 to $100,000 provided it was used to pay off debts. The howling at the very idea! No! You CAN’T! Moral hazard, moral hazard!!!1 It’s not FAIR to those who don’t have debt!!!!!1 Etc. Never mind that most of the Big Guys were having their gambling debts paid off by the Government at 100%, sometimes more, and bonuses were assured to the financial gentry no matter what.

    Doing the same or better for the People was literally impossible to conceive. And this was among so-called progressives.

    Now, interestingly, it is conceivable in certain circumstances and the banks are howling bloody murder at the very idea.

    So no, I’m not signing up for more credit cards, and by hook and crook I’m paying down and paying off the ones I have.

    Not stimulus. Feh.

  19. Hugh

    BTW the BLS issues its CPI numbers for April tomorrow (Wednesday).

  20. ttu

    Perhaps “bump” or “adjustment” would be better than “spike”. That is, if much of what is going on is really a reflection of the combination of supply chain disruption and increased demand. For example, commodity and container shipping costs cannot continue rising as they have of late.
    The longer-ish term question (yapping as someone with no formal economics training) seems to me to revolve around the elasticity of the segments of the economy experiencing price increases. Personally, I suspect the labor market has a looong way to go before it becomes sufficiently tight to effect a non-trivial gain in real wages in more than one or two sectors. Next, if the US were to lose access to rare earth, lithium and chips (Taiwan) next week, prices for consumer electronics might go through the roof, but the inflationary effect might be nil, because most of us would simply not trade in our old phones, for example. Psychologically, the folks in charge are still those whose worst fears are the inflation of the 1970s and early 1980s; unlike the chicanery we currently endure, that’s their direct experience of the path to a failing state. So I would expect … not too much of a change unless someone over-corrects. Still, I suppose it’s possible the rentier class could get hammered, though, and by that I mean something other than losing your anticipated profit on your thoroughly ill-advised purchase of an unwanted and unlivable Manhattan condo.

  21. NL

    ““Food prices advanced 3.5 percent over the past 12 months (since March), … So if you do not eat or drink good news!!!”

    Food comprises ~10% of the total disposable income – more for the lowest earners and much less for the top earners.

    Furthermore, from the BEA:
    Personal income increased $4.21 trillion (21.1 percent) in March according to estimates released today by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (tables 3 and 5). Disposable personal income (DPI) increased $4.18 trillion (23.6 percent) and personal consumption expenditures (PCE) increased $616.0 billion (4.2 percent).

    More than enough to cover the food cost for now. Of course, the double digit growth was because of the monetary transfers and will not last, food prices will not rise much either.

    We still live much better than in the late 1800s and early 1900s…

  22. Trinity

    We are kidding ourselves unless we also consider product quality, which has been dropping steadily as prices have risen. I buy the exact same brand of toilet paper, and have for decades. Around 2007 while unpacking from a move, I somehow ended up with two sets bought months apart. While stacking them together, I noticed a significant difference in size (as length of the cardboard tube).

    I’ve been following this ever since, same brand, same model. The diameter of the tube started increasing but the roll diameter never changed. At first. The length of the tube keeps getting shorter, and the paper quality is also decreasing. A roll barely passes halfway across the standard size roll holders. You can try this at home and see. Push the roll to the side, how much space is left on the holder? That used to be filled with paper and a cardboard tube. I recently am noticing spots in my paper towel rolls. Not sure if this is Amazon selling counterfeit or not. I bought a bunch of cloth napkins and use much less paper now, but the latest roll had a sheet with a brownish red spot. About ten sheets inside. I’ve also noticed black specks of unknown origin in the “weave” or embedded inside a sheet.

    Same thing with clothes. I buy (when on sale) from a middling upscale store. I still have the 2006 shirts, they’ve lasted this long. Good enough only for housework now, but I got a lot of mileage out of them. The new stuff is so thin that I learned I have to choose color carefully (dark or deep colors only) otherwise I either have to wear a second shirt or I may attract attention I don’t want (lol).

    And food. I think I’ve mentioned this before. I buy the same packaged food stuffs. Packaging has remained the same, but the amount of product is decreasing (saltine cracker sleeves barely pass the box’s halfway point now) and this has also been going on for years now. I first noticed this around 2013, where I could push down on the unopened sleeves of crackers and remove about an inch of air. The sleeves were at least as tall as the box back then. Now? It’s much worse now.

    Like I said previously, most of this stuff we are being told is window dressing to distract us from what’s really going on. These things I’ve described have been going on for at least 15 years now, maybe longer, so talk about “inflation” just makes me laugh (and weep, if I’m honest). It’s no accident that the most nutritious foods are now the most expensive. And is organic really organic? I’m old enough to remember when truth in labeling was examined periodically and prosecuted. We used to be able to rely on claims of quality.

    Talk is cheap (and most of it is paid for in advance) and listening is even cheaper since it’s embedded in every screen, everywhere. And they can do anything they want, and then purchase the screen mouthpieces to either reassure us it’s “going to be okay” or serve up the latest scapegoat as the target of our appropriate anger.

    This time of year the more appropriate phrase is: summer is coming. This is maybe the only thing they fear, so I’m assuming the gaslighting has been ramping up, too. Time will tell.

    (That was a nice catch to talk about credit as their answer to the problem they created.)

  23. Hugh

    NL. it all depends who and how many have that increase in personal income. My view is that some quantitative measures can be useful, but the real question is not how much money is made or spent but whether people are happy, taken care of, and leading decent lives. Or as I like to say, the primary measures of an economy are not economic

  24. NL

    “My view is … the real question is not how much money is made or spent but whether people are happy, taken care of, and leading decent lives”

    Very long time ago I read a musings of a non-Western thinker on measures of wellbeing. He started with the GDP, and his conclusion was – using Western surveys of happiness – that GDP can be high but people can still be miserable (not a surprise). So, he then says – Ok, fine, maybe we should measure happiness instead. But then he points to some group of people, a group of Dalits -if I remember correctly – and says look at these people, they toil day and night in unsanitary conditions collecting recyclables at dumpsters, and yet they are vey happy – elated in fact – if you ask them, because they are convinced that after this life, they will be reborn to a much better life for all this suffering.

    Now, before we knowingly chuckle at this ‘third’ world superstition…

    I am looking through ‘Dissolving illusions’ by Humphries and Bystrianyk. It is not really a book in the general meaning of what a book is but more like a collection of quotes with some commentary (although I still recommend it). On page 34, they have these:

    “There is no escape from the conclusion that the United States, the richest nation in the world, is allowing every year … her new children to be killed by poverty”

    Sound familiar, doesn’t it? We could open a web page now and find this formula: “the US, the richest country in the world, does this or that” — e.g., does not share its vaccines. But when I was reading that quote I felt warm and fuzzy — you know why? – because we are the richest people on Earth – hell, yeah!!

    Well, that quote is from an article in Good Housekeeping from 1920.

    Everyone has their illusion, and we need to satisfy them. So, if I were to measure wellbeing, I would measure how well our illusions are met…

  25. NL

    BTW, the book by Humphries and Bystrianyk is not about illusions, it is actually about disease and vaccines. The subtitle is “Disease, vaccines, and the forgotten history”.

    I don’t want you to get a wrong impression about the book.

  26. Jeremy

    re. your comments on Israeli crimes – God Bless You Ian Welsh.

    We suffer the meddlings of Israel here in the UK too:

    “Video: How Israel helped bring down Jeremy Corbyn”

  27. Jason

    AIPAC and all affiliated Jewish organizations in the U.S. should immediately have to register as Agents of a Foreign Power, just as every other country’s officials have to.

    The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations coordinates activity throughout the organized Jewish community in the U.S. It should be immediately investigated for any and all subversive activities vis-a-vis Israel.

    This would be a gigantic start.

  28. js

    And then you can’t even make recipes anymore as everything comes in a smaller size so you would end up using 1 1/2 of something (a can of tomatoes etc. – I don’t buy junk food either but this is basic stuff) to make a recipe. And what waste the rest? Gah, so stupid. How I wish the jerks would just raise prices instead, at least I could still cook.

    Should we talk about how wasteful the extra packaging of everything coming in smaller packages is? And what one wouldn’t give to buy a durable item whose quality hasn’t gone down over the years. Actual inflation as in raising prices instead of this hidden inflation, yea we should be so lucky!

  29. Z

    Larry Fink and Stanley Fisher (former head central banker of Israel and Yellen’s former second at the Fed – apparently our country is so bereft of qualified candidates to work at the Fed that we have to recruit dual Israeli-U.S. citizens) can create inflation even without an increase in wages with the financial vehicles available to them, their connections with the majority of the billionaire hedge fund owners, and the Fed’s spigot hooked up to Blackrock.

    Let’s look at rent for example. The REITs that Larry and Stanley can buy, or collude with their hedge fund pals at a bar mitzvah to buy, support the value of rental properties so the value of the assets are disassociated from rental income. So, even when, like we have seen during the COVID era, there are less renters due to people losing their jobs and if rent was purely a matter of supply and demand it would drop, it continues to rise or stay stable because the value of the underlying asset (the rental properties) is rising due to Larry and Stanley’s fun house plunging money into the REITs so the owners can hold the line on rent. By the way, Larry and Stanley got this power from negotiations between Mnuchin and Sly Charley Schumer (D-Wall Street) bestowing them with this during the initial COVID relief bill.

    They can even inflate the price of lumber and other commodities, if not directly through futures contracts then indirectly, because everyone on Wall Street knows Blackrock controls the markets as long as it has the Fed’s spigot hooked up to it. Whatever they wink and nod to their hedge fund pals will happen for the most part. Hell, who would want to bet against them when they are backstopped by an unlimited amount of money. They can inflate any markets they want to … lumber, food, whatever. And of course none of this has a damn thing to do with wages. It’s all due to the Fed’s spigot.


  30. Bridget

    I don’t know what mechanism can be used to bring these people to justice. RICO? The ICC?

    The following individuals and organizations were/are all part of an (ongoing) criminal organization guilty of perpetrating crimes against humanity:

    Larry Silverstein, Frank Lowy, Ronald Lauder, Lewis Eisenberg, Jules and Jeremy Kroll, Jerome Hauer, ICTS International (Israeli Airport Security Company in charge of security at all 9/11 airports), Ezra Harel, Menchem Atzmon, Odigo, Kobi Alexander, ZIM and Clearforest (Israeli companies in the WTC), Michael and Ben Chertoff, The Israeli Art Students, The Dancing Israelis – Sivan Kurzberg, Paul Kurzberg, Yaron Schmuel, Oded Ellner & Omer Marmari, Urban Moving Systems, Dominik Suter, Ptech Software Systems, Michael Goff, James Schlesinger, Maurice and Jeffrey Greenberg, Dov Zakheim, Alvin Hellerstein, Michael Mukasey, Sheila Birnbaum, Kenneth Feinberg, Stephen Cauffman, Philip Zelikow, Alan Ratner, Cass Sunstein, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, Elliot Abrams, Marc Grossman, Ari Fleischer, Daniel Lewin, David Frum, Jack Abramoff, Adam Pearlman (aka Adam Yahiye Gadahn).

    These are some of the Jewish Zionists involved. There are many more. The gentile willing dupes of the conspiracy are every bit as guilty and should be prosecuted to the full extent as well. We know the names: Bush, Cheney, et al. The planning and execution are done by the Jewish Zionists, who control the real levers of power. The Christian Zionists are often invoked as stalwart supporters of Israel and the Zionist project, but their loyalty is contingent on following the realities that are created on the ground by the Jewish Zionists themselves. Their ideological fervor isn’t nearly as intense as that of the Jewish Zionists.

  31. Bridget

    Haim Saban, Sheldon Adelson, The Mercers. The Clintons and the Obamas.

    Bill Clinton after meeting Netanyhu for the first time in 1996: “Who’s the fucking superpower here?”

    A few Jeffrey Epsteins and Monica Lewinskys later, and nary a peep from old Slick Willie about anything to do with Israel ever again.

    Which begs the question Who’s really slick, Willie?

  32. Hugh

    The CPI data is out today. The CPI-U increased 4.2% over the last 12 months. The CPI-W for urban wage earners and clerical workers increased 4.7% over this period. For the CPI-U, the one month gain seasonally adjusted was 0.8%.

    Notable 12-month increases were gasoline at 49.6%; energy in general, 25.1%; and used cars and trucks, 21%.

    Another report that came out today was on real (inflation-adjusted) earnings. Basically, there was no change from March to April. Looking at production and nonsupervisory workers who comprise I think 81 or 82 percent of workers, over the last 12 months, real average hourly earnings decreased 3.4 percent while their work week increased 2.7%, resulting in a 0.8% overall fall in their real weekly wages.

    For all workers over the last 12 months there was a 1.4% decrease in real weekly wages.

  33. Hugh

    On the following post, I agree with Ian. I am not sure the two-state solution was ever viable. Certainly, the last nail in its coffin was struck in 1995 by the assassination of then Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin by a Jewish extremist. Netanyahu the current Prime Minister did everything he could in the following years to undermine the two-state solution, in case there was any doubt. Rabin was murdered 25 years ago, which shows the bankruptcy of American foreign policy, still giving its support to a policy which ceased to be operative decades ago.

    Israel is very much an apartheid state. If you take Arab Israelis and Palestinians living in the Occupied Territories they would form a majority, and Jewish Israelis, a minority in a single state whatever name you would want to give it. The essence of an apartheid state is the disenfranchisement and disempowerment of a majority by a minority. And that is Israel today.

  34. Z


    A few Jeffrey Epsteins and Monica Lewinskys later, and nary a peep from old Slick Willie about anything to do with Israel ever again.

    Which begs the question Who’s really slick, Willie?

    Clinton wasn’t exactly a victim, as I’d imagine you’d agree. After he left office he collected a few hundred million that largely came from Wall Street for deregulating and free trading everything that Robber Rubin, Rahm Emanuel, and Larry Summers told him to. Not to mention Alan Greenspan chiming in in favor of all of it.

    There should be no dual Israeli-U.S. citizenship IMO. All it is is a cover for treason.

    The arrogant creeps bribe and blackmail politicians from other countries and then demand the world stay out of their business.


  35. Z

    I want to mention that this is a small subset of Jewish people IMO that I refer to as the Jewish Zionist Mafia (JZM) which has a controlling interest in the U.S. and abroad and they fund their power by colluding to rig the financial markets.

    The vast majority of Jewish people in the U.S. I believe are good people and many of them have worked for the benefit of the U.S. and its citizens.


  36. Bridget

    @ Z

    I agree with everything you said.

  37. Z

    Many of the people in the U.S. fighting the hardest against the JZM, and paying the heaviest price for it in the U.S., are Jewish.


  38. Jason

    Hugh, thank you for all the work you do delving into the numbers. I look forward to your reports.

  39. Stirling S Newberry

    The republican party wants an easy to believe elitist lie as opposed to a hard-to-swallow absurd populist lie because they can’t make any money off it. Liz for the believable hogwash.

  40. Hugh

    You ae welcome, Jason.

  41. Hugh

    For me, with the Republicans you have the reactionaries like Cheney and the fascists like Trump. I can’t help thinking that the reactionaries led to the fascists. With the Democrats, you have the conservative /traditional Republican wing and a sort of mush neoliberal wing. With the Democrats I always get the feeling they would like to forget and would like us to forget that they were ever the party of the New Deal.

  42. DMC

    The Haredim have a very enlightening take on the whole “Z-thing” question. They assert that Zionists are no Jews at all. “A Jew is forbidden to murder and a Jew is forbidden to steal. Who says otherwise is an heretic at best and an apostate at worst.” The two are mutually exclusive and even Abraham Geiger, the father of Reform Judaism, called Zionism “the death of Judaism”. Read up on the Haredim and why the don’t recognize the State of Israel and refuse to serve in the army and why they are even more despised than the Arabs by the Zionists, mostly for standing with the Palestinians and giving the lie to the whole “self-hating Jews” trope.

  43. Soredemos


    “Rabin was murdered 25 years ago, which shows the bankruptcy of American foreign policy, still giving its support to a policy which ceased to be operative decades ago.”

    You’re missing the point: no one in either DC or Tel Aviv (well, now Jerusalem, I suppose) believes in a two-state solution. The point is to be forever ‘negotiating’, but to never arrive at a deal. The goal is to drag things out as long as possible, meanwhile the settlements continue to spread like a cancer, and the Palestinians, forever under blockade, continue to be poor, starving, and wallowing in their own filth. The end game is for all of the Levant to be Israel (it’s very tiresome how most people who engage in discussion of this issue, including many anti-Zionists, seem blind to the very basic fact that Israel wants it all. If it belonged to ancient Judah or Israel, they want it to be part of modern Israel), with the ‘final solution to the Palestinian question’ being that the Palestinians just give up and agree to move elsewhere. In another century Israel would just murder them all, but I think Zionists realize even they can’t get away with that bold a move today.

    Also, I want to add that no one should ever suffer the hasbara talking point, frequently deployed, that “well, doesn’t Israel have a right to defend itself?”. No, it doesn’t. It is an occupying power. It has no moral or legal right to claim self-defense. Until it takes down the walls and ends the blockades, the Occupied Territories are in fact still being occupied. A state does not get to exercise control over a place, deny real autonomy to that place, and then claim self-defense if that place fights back.

    The Biden administration has already started spouting the ‘we stand by Israel and its right to defend itself’ talking point. Again, Israel has no such right. Whenever it kills a Palestinian in the Occupied Territories, that is an illegal act of colonial war. Whenever an occupied Palestinian kills an Israeli, that is a legal act of struggle for self-determination. International law is on the side of Hamas.

    “Considering that the denial of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people to self-determination, sovereignty, independence and return to Palestine and the brutal suppression by the Israeli forces of the heroic uprising, the intifadah, of the Palestinian population in the occupied territories, as well as the repeated Israeli aggression against the population of the region, constitute a serious threat to international peace and security,

    Bearing in mind Security Council resolutions 605 (1987) of 22 December 1987, 607 (1988) of 5 January 1988 and 608 (1988) of 14 January 1988 and General Assembly resolutions 43/21 of 3 November 1988, 43/177 of 15 December 1988 and 44/2 of 6 October 1989, on the deterioration of the situation of the Palestinian people in the occupied territories,

    Deeply concerned and alarmed at the deplorable consequences of Israel’s continuing acts of aggression against Lebanon and its continuing occupation of parts of southern Lebanon, as well as its refusal to implement the relevant resolutions of the Security Council, in particular resolutions 425 (1978) of 19 March 1978,

    1. Calls upon all States to implement fully and faithfully all the resolutions of the United Nations regarding the exercise of the right to self-determination and independence by peoples under colonial and foreign domination;

    2. Reaffirms the legitimacy of the struggle of peoples for independence, territorial integrity, national unity and liberation from colonial domination, apartheid and foreign occupation by all available means, including armed struggle;”

    And that’s from 1990. Nothing has changed in the 31 years since.

  44. Plague Species

    So long as ordinary Palestinians have to rely on Hamas and the PLO, the occupation and their further dispossession will continue unabated. Israel couldn’t ask for anything more. Hamas and the PLO are the gifts that keep on giving to Israel. It’s the scarecrow pretext they need to continue with their Apartheid aggression.

  45. Z

    Plague Species,

    What is the solution for the Palestinians then?


  46. Plague Species

    That’s an excellent question, Z. A riddle, for sure, but I’m also sure it isn’t Hamas or the PLO. Israel’s affront will not be neutralized or mitigated via those two bogus self-serving organizations.

    On the topic of Apartheid. Apartheid has presumably ended in South Africa and yet South Africa is hardly better off. Not that SA should return to Apartheid, as if that was even viable, but what came in its wake is equally dysfunctional in its own right. SA is a mess. Apartheid was an abomination but what’s come after is a tragedy as well.

    I bring that up to show just how difficult it is to make things right even if something like Apartheid or slavery here in America is halted.

  47. Z

    Plague Species,

    Okay, so according to you:

    1. Hamas and the PLO, who are enemies of Israel, are “two bogus self-serving organizations” and the Palestinians are better off not allying themselves with them in anyway. Better for the Palestinians not to fight back at all if it comes to that.

    2. Apartheid, which Israel practices, might not be that bad in a relative sense when compared to the realistic alternatives. It might be the best we can reasonably expect.

    Thanks for clarifying your insights on this matter!


  48. Plague Species

    Z, before you ask an ordinary Palestinian to ally themselves with Hamas and/or the PLO and to fight and die in vain, how about you lay your body before the bulldozer first. Be the next Rachel Corrie.

    McDonald Trump was the best friend Israel ever had. He was great for Israel. He was their man in the White House every bit as much as he was Putin’s man in the White House. Israel was further emboldened by him, hence this latest aggressive escalation — it’s the cumulative delayed effect of four years of McDonald Trump.

    The so-called “Leftists” who helped enable McDonald’s ascension, some of whom even voted for him and supported him and defended him, are absolute hypocrites to be voicing concern for the Palestinians. If they cared one iota about the Palestinians, they never could have enabled and supported and defended McDonald Trump. And yet they did and have and some still do. They simply have no credibility, and if you’re one of them, you have zero credibility or less than zero credibility in fact.

  49. Astrid

    Plague Species,

    Who are these Trump voting leftists that you speak of? Do they dwell in the same place that Ian’s malicious moderations go?

    Meanwhile, there are plenty of self described leftists who insisted that one must vote for Biden no matter what. So I think they definitely own the predictable result of an administration with exactly the same foreign policy as Trump, plus about 25 percent greater belligerence against Syria and Russia.

  50. Plague Species

    So I think they definitely own the predictable result of an administration with exactly the same foreign policy as Trump, plus about 25 percent greater belligerence against Syria and Russia.

    On the morning of 7 April 2017, the United States launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles from the Mediterranean Sea into Syria, aimed at Shayrat Airbase controlled by the Syrian government.

    It’s May 13th and Biden hasn’t launched any Tomahawk cruise missiles against Syria yet like Trump did just three months into his reign of terror. Considering that, I’m going with at least 25% less belligerence against Syria and Russia too when you consider Biden has preemptively pardoned Putin for the Colonial Pipeline hack versus taking out the state-of-the-art Gazprom refinery outside Moscow that supplies Moscow with all its fuel.

  51. Z

    Plague Species,

    Your hasbara is particularly weak today.

    before you ask an ordinary Palestinian to ally themselves with Hamas and/or the PLO and to fight and die in vain, how about you lay your body before the bulldozer first.

    I’m not asking any Palestinian to do anything. They know their situation better than I do. You’re the one opining that you know better than the ones who back Hamas and the PLO.

    McDonald Trump was the best friend Israel ever had. He was great for Israel. He was their man in the White House every bit as much as he was Putin’s man in the White House.

    It is literally impossible to be just as much of a friend to Israel, which Trump very much was, as to Putin, which he wasn’t. There’s too many conflicts of interests between the two (see Syria).

    Israel was further emboldened by him, hence this latest aggressive escalation — it’s the cumulative delayed effect of four years of McDonald Trump.

    Yeah, poor Israel being misled by Trump to be aggressive towards the Palestinians. It’s so uncharacteristic of them. When is the expiration date for the “cumulative delayed effect of four years of McDonald Trump” by the way or do we just lay Israel’s aggression and oppression of the Palestinians on Trump infinitum?

    The so-called “Leftists” who helped enable McDonald’s ascension, some of whom even voted for him and supported him and defended him, are absolute hypocrites to be voicing concern for the Palestinians. If they cared one iota about the Palestinians, they never could have enabled and supported and defended McDonald Trump.

    Why don’t Trump voters, of which I was not one of, have no right to voice concern over Israel’s brutal treatment of the Palestinians? They may have voted for Trump for other reasons than Israel-Palestine relations. There were legitimate doubts, and still are, that Hillary would have been more pro-Israel than Trump. I don’t personally think so at this point, but Hillary isn’t exactly anti-Israel and Israel may have leverage over her due to her husband’s dealings with Epstein.


  52. Astrid

    Plague Species,

    I didn’t realize that timing of tomahawk missiles were the only measure of belligerence. So I guess an airstrike a month into his administration doesn’t count for you.

    The source of your evidence on Putin hacking is you, so I’m going to pass. But you should talk to MSM about your theories. Maybe they’ll invite you to be an analyst for Rachel Maddow.

  53. Astrid

    I guess this is also why PS is so paranoid about being moderated. He probably gotten kicked off time of times for trying to SEO his substack sure onto more popular sites.

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