Ignorance, Latin for ‘the Mess We’re In’ – Opinion

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As expected, cable media and social media are getting all rowdy over the latest inflation numbers released from the Federal Department of Labor’s “Bureau of Labor Statistics” (BLS), which measures a market basket of consumer prices in the economy and releases the figures each quarter as part of their “Consumer Price Index” (CPI) report before the financial markets open.

Yes, that’s right, what would normally make Republicans gag that early in the morning, and make Democrats smile as they order their avocado toast, is lost in the noise. We have a federal agency costing American taxpayers $14 billion annually, most of which is on their just shy of 17,000 government employees, adding up the price of eggs, bread, milk, beef…

Evidently, it takes a lot to use a calculator.

Back to the BLS inflation rate. Here are some of Wednesday morning’s headlines:

CNBC: “Inflation rose 9.1% in June, even more than expected, as consumer pressures intensify.”

AP: “US inflation reached a new 40-year high in June of 9.1%.”

BLOOMBERG: “Bonds Slump as Inflation Surge Fuels Bets on 100-Basis-Point Fed Rate Hike.”

WASHINGTON POSTER: “Bonds Slump as Inflation Surge Fuels Bets on 100-Basis-Point Fed Rate Hike.”

One of my first questions is: Since when do conservatives (including cable media) trust information that comes from federal government alphabet soup agencies? The Labor Department cannot be run by Dr. Fauci. We are left to wonder: Who manages the Labor Department.

Which “merit” appointment did Biden pick for the gig of running this federal agency? Well, I’m glad you asked. Martin J. Walsh. Martin J. Walsh was inducted as the 29th Secretary to Labor on March 23, 2021. He is a “lifelong champion of equity and fairness and a proud product of the City of Boston.”

Secretary Walsh, according to Secretary Walsh, “leads the U.S. Department of Labor with a strong connection to working people, and a commitment to creating an economy that works for all.”

In 1997, Walsh was a State Representative who, according to Walsh, “focused on creating good jobs, protecting workers’ rights, expanded mental health treatment, and invested in public transit.”

Walsh seems like the right man for the job — after his time in the Massachusetts legislature, he was elected Mayor of Boston where he, according to Walsh, “led the creation of close to 140,000 jobs and helped secure a statewide $15/hour minimum wage, paid sick leave and paid parental leave.”

Even more, he claims that he created universal and high-quality pre-kindergarten for all children. He seems to understand both the political and financial value of all things, but not the cost of none. As secretary of Labor, Walsh is proud to say he “halted evictions and provided rental relief; and set up multiple funds to help small businesses survive.” I guess unless your small business was owning rental properties.

And of course, speaking of helping small businesses, Walsh is especially proud of his work early in the pandemic to “pause” construction and establish safety requirements which he says was “lauded as a model by both unions and employers alike.” Yes, of course, I know most employers are simply overjoyed whenever the federal government walks in their front door to say: “You’re paused.”

You don’t need to pay much attention to what is happening behind closed doors.

Folks, the 9.1 percent YOY “inflation” rate is about as accurate as any other statistic released by the federal government…take it with a grain of salt. The truth is it’s higher than 9.1 percent. Much higher. Just don’t call it inflation. They are free to do whatever they want.

It is the name they wish you would use. They can hide behind the amoral, irresponsible, and rash actions that shut down America’s economy. These actions, which resulted in thousands of job losses and hundreds of thousands in private sector businesses being closed down, turned our lives upside-down, particularly here in California, and caused almost every type of social disorder you could imagine.

It is easy to see if the dollar is devalued by looking at the gold price. Gold prices have dropped by almost $350 per troy ounce in the last month. You cannot — indeed we will not  — have a dollar devaluation and a falling gold price simultaneously.

I’m not trying to split hairs here. The bipartisan price-stink economy is what we’re experiencing. This was caused by shutting down the economy in March of 2020, coupled with Biden, and the multi-national energy company’s price spikes resulting from diminished refining capacity, and diminishing capital flows into the American energy sector driven primarily by, in the case of Biden, an immoral fanaticism with environmental, sustainable governance (ESG) nitwittery; and sadly, in the case of the energy company CEOs, sheer cowardice and a cynical attitude toward maximizing the bottom line on the ledger sheet for the approval of their America last shareholders.

If you don’t understand the underlying cause of the economic crisis, how do you expect to become an informed voter in 2024 and support the candidate or candidates accurately addressing it? The saying goes, ignorance is bliss. Whoever they are, they’re wrong. They are absolutely wrong. Let me just say, as the world is today: Ignorance leads to danger.

You might even say, to borrow and modify an old Reagan line: Ignorance is Latin for “the mess we’re in.”

Joe Armendariz serves as the Director for Government Affairs at Armendariz Partners. A former Carpinteria City Council member, he is also the ex-Executive Director of Santa Barbara County Taxpayers Association and Santa Barbara Technology and Industry Association. He is the Chairman of California Center for Public Policy. You can reach him at 805.990-2494

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