Like Stagflation? You Will Love Build Back Better

On November 18, the U.S. House of Representatives narrowly passed the single-largest spending bill in American history: President Biden’s Build Back Better Act. Now, the only thing standing between Build Back Better becoming the law of the land is the U.S. Senate, but more specifically, Sens. Joe Manchin (D‑WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D‑AZ). As of now, both Manchin and Sinema have expressed their misgivings about voting in favor of Build Back Better. “By all accounts, the threat posed by record inflation to the American people is not ‘transitory’ and is instead getting worse,” Manchin recently stated. “From the grocery store to the gas pump, Americans know the inflation tax is real and DC can no longer ignore the economic pain Americans feel every day.”

Manchin, unlike those in the Biden administration bubble, has his finger on the pulse of the American people. Moreover, Manchin understands that Biden’s Build Back Better boondoggle would increase inflation while simultaneously reducing employment. Hence, Manchin is well aware that if the Build Back Better bill is signed into law by Biden, Americans should prepare for a second stretch of Jimmy Carteresque stagflation.

The likelihood that Build Back Better would usher in an unwelcome bout of stagflation is rather simple. First, Build Back Better is projected …

The demand curve imposes its tyranny on every business. Raise prices and sales will begin to falter. Cut prices and customers will flock to you. It’s usually either higher sales or higher profit.

The holy grail of pricing strategy is in finding ways to circumvent this seemingly ironclad economic law, to raise prices without losing sales. That becomes even more crucial at times like now, when input costs are increasing quickly, and raising prices is necessary just to keep the business running.

But we live in a time when customers have sharp eyes and loud voices. When a company raises prices directly, some vigilant customer is bound to notice and complain on social media, no matter how small the increase or valid the reason. A few complaints could then spiral into a firestorm of outrage, upturning even the most carefully orchestrated price increase.

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Amid the inflation surge that’s rippled through the U.S. economy and touched thousands upon thousands of products, one of the more obscure items on the list is firewood.

It’s a fuel from earlier times, so niche an industry that no one appears to even try to track pricing on a national level.

Talk to firewood vendors in state after state, though, and they’ll all tell you the same thing: Sales are booming on the eve of winter, and prices are soaring.

After last week’s hot CPI print, the great inflation debate continues to dominate headlines. The Biden administration and Federal Reserve members have been insisting inflation is transitory. But new, used car data shows prices continue to soar, suggesting inflation is anything but transitory.

Anyone shopping for a used car since the virus pandemic began has been hit with extraordinarily high prices as snarled supply chains and chip shortages crimp new car output, pushing consumers onto secondary markets.

The Manheim Index, the most recognized wholesale used-vehicle price index by financial and economic analysts, shows that used car prices rose 4.9% in the first 15 days of November compared to October. The overall index has jumped 44.9% from November 2020.


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