With inflation at its highest peak since 1981, average people are turning to desperate measures to make ends meet, including pawning or selling their prized belongings to put food on the table.
Rick Harrison, pawn shop owner and star of "Pawn Stars" on the History Channel, spoke out about this trend in an interview on Fox News Monday.
[People are pawning their] wedding band, or something like that, and these are people who, you know- You take a single mom who has to drive to work every day, has to drive to get groceries for her kids. This is devastating, because when they talk about [how] we’ve got 8.6 percent inflation or something like that, that's across the board. When you talk to people who have lower, middle income, and they have to drive a lot, this affects them a lot more. It's not eight percent inflation, it's like 25 percent.
Conversely, this has resulted in a business boom for pawn shops, with some shops reporting that their business is up 50 percent since last year. Harrison notes that recently created government programs, like the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the Employee Retention Credit (ERC), have further benefited pawn shops.
“It’s a real double edged sword,” Harrison told host Steve Doocy. “I mean, [...] you have, like, small business owners, and a lot of them got so much PPP money, and now that ERC money is coming into all of them.”
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“They're getting tons of money, which is driving up the price of collectibles and everything else like that, but [in] Middle America, it’s crushing them with the oil thing.”
Still, Harrison says, pawn shops have “had trouble getting merchandise,” and “all the little things,” like rising costs for cleaning supplies and expensive power bills, are hurting business owners.
“We have a government that has no idea what it’s doing,” the popular History Channel star concluded.
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