Those who don’t learn from — or are in any condition to remember — history are apparently condemned to repeat it.
All three presidents who held office during the 1970s — Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter — all faced issues with inflation. All tried price and/or wage controls to get it under control. All, rather predictably, failed.
President Joe Biden either didn’t learn anything from that malaise of a decade or has (rather plausibly) forgotten it. He’s taking the same approach, albeit with a slightly different tack: Instead of implementing price controls directly, he’s taking to the bully pulpit to tell those lying dog-faced pony soldier corporations not to mess with Corn Pop and start messing with prices or they’ll have something to worry about, jack.
Those are, at least believably, the words that Biden’s handlers and social media team turned into this Thursday social media post:
Let me be clear to any corporation that hasn’t brought their prices back down even as inflation has come down: It’s time to stop the price gouging.
Give American consumers a break.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) November 30, 2023
“Let me be clear to any corporation that hasn’t brought their prices back down even as inflation has come down: It’s time to stop the price gouging,” Biden said.
“Give American consumers a break.”
Well, that’s one way to do it: Treat inflation as if it could be solved via the precepts used by the mob in the protection racket. That’s the ticket.
Forget about struggling with inflation. Are you a business who’s raising their prices in response to rising costs? Shame if the Biden administration or Democrats were to … notice this happening.
Now, readers pointed out the obvious in a community note: While inflation has come down to 3.2 percent in October, this 1) was year-over-year, which meant 2021 and 2022’s massive inflation numbers were still baked into prices and 2) this was still well above the Federal Reserve’s target inflation rate of 2 percent.
However, there’s an even more fundamental problem here, as several commenters noted:
“Listen, Jack, just lower your prices” is a helluva economic strategy.
— Damin Toell (@damintoell) November 30, 2023
Government creates inflation.
Businesses adjust prices to meet the new value of their goods and services with less valuable currency.
Government yells at businesses.
— Being Libertarian (@beinlibertarian) November 30, 2023
This isn’t the first time the White House has led its charge against inflation by intimidation, either.
In June of 2022, in response to high gas prices, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said the president ““wants to hear from these refining entities about why was it, for example, when oil was $120 a barrel in March, and we paid about $4.25 a gallon, but today, when oil is the same price on a global market, we’re paying over $5 a gallon?”
“We know that, as you noted earlier in the show, that capacity has come offline, refining capacity. But even between March and today, we are seeing these massive profit — this massive profit-taking on the part of refiners,” she added.
This clip is ASTONISHING.
Energy Sec. @JenGranholm demands energy companies to make massive investments to increase oil supply while simultaneously saying they want to shut them down over the next 5-10 years.
WHAT IS THIS WHITE HOUSE?! pic.twitter.com/CTgC4dk92x
— Jason Howerton (@jason_howerton) June 15, 2022
Gas prices have gone up and down since then — and are on a downward trend now, but not because of any big oil shakedown by the Biden administration.
As The Associated Press noted, decreases in recent weeks had more to do with seasonal declines, including the “switch to winter blend gasoline — which is cheaper to produce than the summer blend” and “shorter days mak[ing] hitting the road less enticing in the colder months.”
Also feeding into a possible reduction in gas prices, according to the AP? Paradoxically, inflation, which the wire service said “is still high and continues to undercut Americans’ spending habits.”
But now, by threatening other businesses, Uncle Joe can get that under control! Since his administration threatened oil companies and gas prices went down, threats must work for other sectors of the economy a year-and-change after the ultimatum, right?
Leaving aside that this would be whack-a-mole economics even if it did work, it doesn’t. This is the case of a president whose economic policies have wrecked American prosperity and who now blames corporate America — which has never lost a Democrat a vote among the base — for his strategies not working.
America isn’t this stupid. Even those not old enough to remember how wage and price controls didn’t tackle inflation back in the 1970s can see how silly a president shaking his cane at businesses to make himself look powerful really is. Whoever is feeding this advice to Biden as sound optics is one mean lying dog-faced pony soldier. The country needs a break from Bidenomics, and this definitely isn’t how to accomplish it.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.