President Biden is not to blame for inflation

Many republicans that are crucifying Biden over inflation are much more to blame than he is.

Unless you are fortunate enough to enjoy family support, veteran benefits, or your own financial independence, a difficult part of being a student is always the balancing act required in managing our future goals and our immediate practical needs equally. 

I am sure many students here at UWT are feeling the economic strain of current events and in times like these it’s only natural to seek answers and some of you may be looking for someone or something to blame.

Anytime there is a problem in life, people tend to want to find a scapegoat. We naturally want our world to make sense, and we want our problems to make sense. 

Often when our lives are disrupted by a combination of ambiguous factors, the human tendency is to attempt to simplify the issue; to find a clear, uniform cause for our troubles and give us something to grumble about. 

For those struggling their way through the socio-economic strain of adult life, nothing feels as satisfying as a good grumble. 

However, often our natural desire for simple answers and a quality grumble distorts our view of the problems we face. We are seeing this today in regard to the economy and President Joe Biden. 

Now I have done my fair share of grumbling about President Biden and the Democratic Party. Like many full-blooded progressives in this country, I only vote Democratic for lack of a better option. 

However, anyone who is putting full blame on Biden for the current inflation crisis is either actively avoiding or intentionally ignoring the real facts of the situation.

According to Reuters, inflation isn’t only high in America. The inflation problem is a global problem, particularly in countries dependent on foreign energy reserves, like the U.S. and those in the European Union. 

The COVID-19 pandemic created unprecedented disruptions in the global distribution network. Had the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic not been so incompetent, the resulting disruptions would not have been so impactful.

It wasn’t President Biden who bungled the COVID-19 response, it was his predecessor, Donald Trump. A timeline created by Vox details Trump’s pandemic response month by month, and there are some important facts to remember.

He dismissed the White House’s Pandemic Response team in 2018. He failed to completely stop travel from China during the crucial early months when the virus was localized to China. He refused to enact even minimal pandemic mandates until nearly 4 months after the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a world health emergency.

So, if the pandemic is the main reason for the global inflation trend, it is far more Trump’s responsibility than Biden’s.

Another fact that people should be talking about more is that while the average American worker is struggling with increased prices, the average American, multi-national, multi-billion dollar corporation is enjoying record-breaking profits. 

Robert Reich from Inequality Media suggests that corporate concentration has much more to do with inflation than any policy Biden has or has not introduced. With fewer companies owning more of their respective industries, corporations no longer have to compete with one another like they used to.

In previous times of historic inflation, corporations attempted to absorb the extra cost as much as possible, while still providing the same quality of product. This was driven by the fear that if they did not do so, they would lose customers to the competition.

In today’s quagmire of late-stage capitalism, corporations like Coca-Cola, Amazon and AT&T have only a few competitors. So many of them are seizing upon current events to drive up prices and make the consumer bear the cost of inflation. 

In many ways, President Biden has done a fair job with the economy so far. 

According to a November 2021 report from the BBC, in Biden’s first ten months he added nearly 5.6 million jobs to the U.S. economy, almost three times more than Trump’s first ten months. The national gross domestic product also rose by 6% within the same period, and nearly 30% of the bottlenecked container ships were cleared from around U.S. ports. 

I do not like President Biden very much. I think he is a half-baked corporate shill, masquerading as a true progressive to earn the millennial vote. That being said, I think he has done a fairly good job considering the historic circumstances he inherited and the quality of leadership America generally has these days. 

If we judge Biden, we should judge him based on the issues that are actually his fault, not COVID-19, inflation, or the general corruption of American politics. Blame the people responsible for that, namely Trump, the Republicans and their corporate donors who laugh at us while we struggle to carry the corrupt, corpulent weight of their selfish shortsightedness our entire lives.