X Users School Biden For Deceptive Claim of 'Lower Inflation'

P. Gardner Goldsmith | December 3, 2023
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There seems to be a slight difference between old, secretly censorious, FBI-paid Twitter -- which many of us found frustrating because the social media platform responded to government-tied pressure and hid our truthful posts about things like the authenticity of the Hunter Biden laptop, flagged our posts about mask-mandates, and crushed posts mentioning the very low fatality rate of COVID19 – and Elon Musk’s new Twitter/X -- where Musk has welcomed back many who were banned and has ushered in a new asset called “Community Notes,” providing all users the chance to contribute contextual information for posts that might be erroneous or misleading.

The contrast is noticeable, and we might have seen its clearest example November 30, when Joe Biden used a snake-oil sales gimmick to make an outlandish economic claim, and Twitter/X users called him out.

Biden’s oafish and absurd post seemed to be concocted to serve three purposes: to portray inflation as something it is not, to fool people into thinking that there is no more “inflation,” and to lay blame for higher prices on business people whom he claimed are “gouging.”

And so Biden claimed:

“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.”

The first, and, perhaps, least obvious fact to note is Biden’s deception about the nature of inflation. As I’ve told many an economics student, inflation is the artificial expansion of a money supply, typically inflated by governments or the central banks to which politicians give the fiat-money creating power. Handing their out-of-thin-air-created currency to governments in the form of bond purchases, and to special corporate interests in the form of artificially low-interest loans, these central banks pump out money that bids up prices and sees malinvestment by market participants who incorrectly think the economy is sound and naturally expanding. As the price rises start to show themselves, consumers pull back their spending, the malinvestments and artificially high prices become revealed, and those artificially high-priced assets – including jobs -- have to be liquidated. We see what scholars of the Austrian School of economics term the “boom-bust” of the business cycle, which has nothing to do with real business, and everything to do with people in government and their central bank flooding the market with fake and worthless cash.

So when Biden talks about “inflation,” he’s actually talking about price increases that have resulted from the inflation of the money supply.

And that brings us to his second, perhaps most obvious deception: his claim that “inflation has come down.”

It’s patently absurd. But Twitter/X didn’t ban the Prez. Twitter/X didn’t remove his false and misleading post. As any person or group interested in free speech might do, X let Biden speak, and allowed people to respond.  

And, boy, did the Twitter Community Notes folks respond – precisely, and correctly, offering, in part:

“As long as the inflation rate is positive, prices are increasing. The fact that inflation has come down to 3.2% in October means that prices are still going up, albeit at a slower rate than before.”

This is, of course, information you likely know, and which I’ve offered at MRCTV – the fact that year-to-year price increases are continuing, in a compounded manner, and the recognition of what appears to be an attempt to deceive.

When a politician uses the term “coming down” to describe a month-to-month softening in the still-upward slope of year-to-year price increases, it’s wise to suspect him or her of deceptive intentions.

In fact, as I mentioned last week for MRCTV, “officially” tracked prices have risen 17.7 percent since Biden entered office, fueled by the Trump-supported $2 trillion in Fed-fueled pork of the 2020 “CARES” act, through Biden’s insipidly named so-called “Inflation Reduction Act,” and other insane DC moves, such as showering over $110 billion in military loot to Ukraine – and that’s a low estimate.

Perhaps the most adroit response to Biden’s attempted rhetorical parlor trick came from economics professor and Mises Institute scholar Per Bylund, who wrote:

“Not how it works, Joe. Read my short book on how the economy works - it's free and so easy to understand even a president might get it. Download at http://mises.org/primer

A smart move by Prof Bylund. I have his book, entitled, “How to Think about the Economy: A Primer,” and it is excellent. But I wouldn’t bet on Biden reading it.

Related: Microsoft-Tied NewsGuard Was Paid By Feds While It Censored Conservative Media, Including MRCTV | MRCTV

Biden’s far too busy massaging his abysmal economic record, and pushing the third aspect of that insulting November 30 post. The final insult of it comes in the form of Biden’s attempt to claim that higher prices consumers might be suffering to pay are the result of “gouging” by businesses.

By their entrance into the market, businesses try to cater to consumers. If they charge more than what consumers will accept, those consumers are incentivized to turn to alternatives, and opportunities for new sellers appear. As opposed to government, which can demand our money at any time, redirect our earnings to things we didn’t want to buy (such as Biden’s favorite “green” corporate welfare recipients), and borrow on the backs of the unborn, free market participants have to ASK for our business.

Thus, they don’t “gouge.” Even during periods of natural disasters, when bottled water prices might rise, those higher prices reflect an increase in consumer interest, and the new price information is essential to provide signals to potential entrants into the market. In fact, they incentivize new entrants, who will increase supply.

Government/central-bank inflation of the money supply and government spending warp those signals into monstrous things, showering increasingly worthless cash at things we wouldn’t have chosen, seeing natural, temporal, and human resources flow into those falsely “appealing” fields, and seeing the resultant waste revealed as consumers pull back their spending to try to handle the price increases.

Biden deserved to be schooled, and to receive umbrage for his typically slippery propaganda.  

It’s all part of a dynamic, changing Twitter/X environment that is seeing less governmental influence. If only the US economy could experience the same thing.