The holiday season always brings joy, thankfulness and simply being grateful for another year, especially after the last year’s uncertainty in our country. We can always find the silver lining and be grateful we are alive and well, celebrating the one of the most celebrated holidays of every year- Thanksgiving. However, there is a reality we are feeling both at home and in our pocketbooks. Sure Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, and Bill Gates are going to be alright, but what about middle America?
The red-blooded blue-collar workers across this beautiful country of ours are taking the brunt of inflation. Yes, the “I” word that is not a good thing like some of this administration’s talking heads claim. As we are reminded in Romans 5:3-4, in times like this we have to endure, but through our endurance, we will build character. This type of enduring, though, seems to be deliberate.
When one looks at the last few years, we saw a decent trend wherein jobs were available and readily filled. GDP was growing and Latino, Asian and African Americans across the country saw record low unemployment. In addition to that, we saw the highest participation rate in the labor force. This means there were ample jobs with working age citizens taking those available jobs.
This year, an entirely different pattern has emerged. People were not going back to work so promptly as many individuals received more pay from unemployment than they would if they held a job. This is indicative of the policies being pushed by the current administration and has earmarks of a society slowly becoming dependent on the government. They create a problem seemingly only to take credit for the solution and these trends are trickling down to the everyday family. Now, ten months into the new administration, we are seeing soaring gas prices, a push for enormous spending (here lies the solution and savior; the Government) and increasing prices on almost every consumer good imaginable. This is easily going to hit the middle class as a tax.
Our government says their new policies will not affect the middle class and anyone earning less than $400,000 a year. On paper, as it pertains to taxes, that may be correct or partially correct. There is an easy explanation to why the bottom approximately 98% of the population is feeling some pain – some more than others.
Last year (2020) – and I remind you, during the pandemic – cost for a Thanksgiving feast was $46.90 which is less than $5.00 per person. This is from an annual survey done by the Farm Bureau and the 2020 survey showed the lowest price since 2010. Costs in 2021 have increased 14% this year over last. The list below shows a few Thanksgiving items that are hitting the average citizen where it counts – in the pocketbook.
16-pound turkey – up $4.60 or 24% increase
4-pound ham – up $1.17 or 19% increase
Beef – up 20%
Eggs – up 42% (cakes, pies and deserts all require eggs)
Gas – up 61% (we all have to travel and get somewhere)
In 2021, the aforementioned basket of goods for Thanksgiving Day lunch or dinner shot well above the fifty ($50.00) dollar mark. Seems like records are being broken by the new administration, but not the good ones. A record increase in over 31 years occurred last month with inflation soaring up 6.2%. There is currently legislation that will result in increased spending and will drive inflation even higher if we don’t get this economy rolling as it was prior to Covid.
All the moves being made are more political than they are economic and damaging the gains we saw prior to this administration. This increase simply means that the value of your dollar is weaking. For example, if one paid 0.70 cents for a widget at a point in time last year, one would be paying north of a dollar for that same item. Translation, if you paid around $1.85 per gallon last year, you are now paying close to $3.00 per gallon. This just compounds and ultimately becomes that tax that wasn’t supposed to be a tax to the middle class, i.e., anyone earning less than $400,000 a year. Sounds legit, right? We all know the reality by what we have seen this year since the beginning of 2021.
We should be thankful for every day that is bestowed upon us. Unfortunately, we also have to endure good and bad times. This may be our path that builds character in all of us, but we should also know how the verse after Romans 5:3-4 ends. Hope. There’s ALWAYS hope. If you put the verse I reference together (Romans 5:3-5) you see God making us Endure (remember there is always good and not so good), and while we endure, he builds Character in us.
Finally, when we truly believe in HIM, there is always HOPE. We see our country going through much strife and turmoil amongst our leaders, decision-making and many things we may not have control over. But in the end, there is always hope. New leaders emerging, new ideas that stand FOR THE PEOPLE and genuine God-fearing men and women doing the right thing for our country to keep her safe.
America is on a path of no return if we don’t hold on the reigns of reason and guide her back to freedom, prosperity and quite honestly, sanity. We can do this and make true changes for all the right reasons and start setting the path for future generations to enjoy what our founding fathers left us. We need to stop the ideas of Marx, Stalin and Lenin and bring back and keep the ideas of Washington, Adams, and Jefferson.