Inflation isn’t the problem

I’m Jonathan Chenjeri and I’m running for OR House District 56. 

Concern over inflation and pandemic spending in Oregon, or Build Back Better, is misguided. Opposing childcare support, rent stability, and climate change mitigation reflect outdated ‘scarcity’ fears, and obscure the real issue: the misuse of our national wealth. We should pay for these bills by finally raising taxes on the rich, raising wages for taxable income, and planful short-term borrowing. This is how our system functions best: countering market instability with public regulation.

Talk of “Bidenflation,” national debts, or disobeying ‘the market’ echo the false narrative of resource and labor ‘scarcity.’ It is rather public underinvestment, unhealthy wealth concentration, the household supplementation of wages for credit cards and debts, and overpaying for childcare or insurance that make our dollars unproductive. This economic pattern gives rise to macro-concerns like the national debt. 

Critics argue that child tax credits, unemployment, and ‘supply’ issues have led to a whopping 59% price rise in gasoline; eggs in 8%; and local restaurants, 10%. Inflation, thus, is holding back working families. These numbers are misused, as overall inflation is 6.2%. For example, that “59%” is about $1.20, a small spike over 10 years; that “8%” is $0.32, and the 10%, $1. This is the “inflation-scare” game: distract with present inconveniences from long-term declines in household income, rising debt, displaced small business, and corporate privileges. ‘Class warfare’ is saying we cannot raise wages, because the ‘consumer’ will suffer. Inflation can ultimately help business – high demand, higher prices and higher wages brings more income. 

A bright future is possible if we work together now. Supporting families with wage increases, debt relief, unions, and infrastructure investment will help everyone in the long-run. These times do call for patience and moderation, the lessons of history are often that we didn’t spend enough.

Jonathan

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