Published by shellypruittjohnson
My name is Shelly Johnson, and I am a writer and philosopher with a Ph.D. in philosophy. One of my primary personal and philosophical interests is how we can learn to love ourselves and each other better in order to cultivate personal and political resilience. I teach ethics and a variety of other courses at a local college. I am the author of the blog Love is Stronger. I am also the author of three logic and critical thinking books for high school and middle school: _Argument Builder_, _Discovery of Deduction_ (co-author), and _Everyday Debate_, published by Classical Academic Press. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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4 thoughts on “The Cause of Inflation”
Great post! Thanks for sharing. 👍
So kind, Friend! Thank you for reading and commenting.
Thanks Shelly, for your thoughtful response on this topic.
When you look at causal actions under the current administration, it seems logical to come to the conclusion that white house policies did in fact cause inflation.
1 Cancellation of the pipeline. Energy independence and less dependence on foreign oil.
2 Aggressive green energy policies that hindered production of domestic oil production and fear in the marketplace, causing fuel price increases.
2a Policies prohibiting trucking in ports such as California exacerbating already struggling supply chains due to COVID lockdown policies (Don’t get me started).
3 Food production plants being destroyed (it’s real, look it up) by fires etc. adding to grocery instability. Pair that with supply chain issues, now baby formula and egg shortages.
4 Government spending that has forced them to print more money. This is the biggie. Inflation happens when there are too many dollars chasing too few goods. The more they continue to print (see debt ceiling debate at present), the worse inflation will get.
I agree that it’s not reasonable to think simply that A must have caused B even if they are unrelated. When A1-4 (or 10 or 20) are all related and the result is B. It seems logical to come to that conclusion. Am I wrong?
Hey There, Matt: I appreciate your kindly worded comment here. I would agree with you that all the issues you have mentioned above, as you have worded them, warrant investigation as possible causes. So, what I recommend (which you may have already done) is to investigate each of these with a willingness to believe the opposite could be true. Being willing to believe your hypothesis might be false can help you reason more clearly.
So for example, regarding #1, I have researched the pipeline argument. I am definitely willing to believe this, at least in part, caused inflation. However, it appears that there is good reason to believe it didn’t. Here are two articles that discuss this issue:
Regarding #2, it is very possible aggressive green energy policies have contributed to inflation. I am willing to believe this, and I also think that green energy moves are crucial to address environmental issues. Nevertheless, someone could argue that now–after a pandemic,during the war in Ukraine, etc.–is not the time to make aggressive green energy moves. That is very possible, but that point would be outside the scope of this discussion. It would deserve a blog post all its own.
Regarding #3, I think this concern may be based on a common reasoning error we tend to make when we feel threatened (and understandably so). The article below discuss this common error. I believe such fired could be occurring, but I have not seen carefully researched and reasoned and documented writing suggesting (1) that the fires are happening at a statistically higher rate than normal; or (2) that they are connected to the Biden presidency.
I think #4 has some legitimacy. I think the pandemic checks (as an example of government spending) probably have contributed to inflation, and I am willing to consider this. Here is an article from Five Thirty Eight, which is a website I trust. It is non-partisan and based on statistical research. This article suggests that the stimulus checks did, indeed contributed to inflation:
And I believe this–I believe that the checks issued in both President Trump’s tenure in office, as well as Biden’s contributed to inflation.
My own view at this point is that our current inflation crisis has multiple causes, some related to Biden’s presidency; some related to Trump’s presidency; and others related to world events and the fact that we are emerging from a global pandemic.