So much for transitory inflation
The most recent inflation data shows that prices are galloping ahead, rising 5.4 percent year-over year and showing more staying power than the Federal Reserve or its assorted apologists believed was possible.
There are consequences to such inflationary pressures – more than just the pain of higher prices for the basic goods and services we depend on. There are also higher costs for government, and higher taxes for some workers. The reason: higher inflation is leading to the largest increase in Social Security payments in nearly four decades:
The Social Security Administration said…higher inflation would trigger a 5.9% increase for Social Security benefits that seniors and other Americans receive, the largest increase in nearly 40 years. It also will increase Social Security taxes for high-wage workers. Last week, the Labor Department said employers increased wages in September by 4.6% compared with a year ago, a pickup from prior months.
So much for “transitory” inflation, which we were all assured would ease and disappear once the kinks got worked out of the global supply chains, and people went back to work in drives.
Yeah, about that last point:
The shortage of workers is also driving up wages, putting pressure on companies to raise prices. A sharp uptick in restaurant prices during the past few months is a sign of this pass-through from wages into higher prices, economists say.
And in a big throwback to the 1970s, there are rising energy prices:
Rising energy prices—driven by the global recovery in demand, disrupted supply and geopolitical forces—could also keep prices aloft. U.S. consumers are now paying an average of $3.29 a gallon for gasoline, the highest level in seven years, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Steeper energy bills for businesses could increase the pressure to raise prices.
They most certainly will. And it will, inevitably, affect consumer behavior, interest rates, government finances, and much more.