Department of Agriculture issues comical food price inflation report and forecast
Inflation is the political dynamite that explodes support for an American president. People directly experience their standard of living declining every time they buy food and fill up their gas tanks. When people have to minimize or eliminate beef and other preferred foods from their diet, they experience creeping impoverishment and worry what lies ahead. When they get to the supermarket checkout counter and don't have enough money or have to mentally calculate what other expenses they will cut to pay for their shopping basket, they realize that their interests are not being protected by those who are supposed to shepherd the nation.
That is why the recent latest pricing report and analysis from the U.S. Department of Agriculture will only make people angry and cynical, while fooling no one. Sundance writes:
In their update to the USDA pricing forecast and analysis dated January 25, 2022, the USDA claims: "2021 retail food price inflation continued at same pace as 2020 but varied among food categories." Oh, but it gets even more stupid:
"USDA, Economic Research Service (ERS) researchers project that prices for food-at-home, or food purchased typically from grocery stores or other food stores, will increase between 1.5 and 2.5 percent in 2022, lower than the 3.5-percent increase that occurred in both 2020 and 2021. Forecasts for all food categories for 2022 are available in ERS's monthly Food Price Outlook data product, updated January 25, 2022." (link)
If there was ever an argument that every single institution in the U.S. government was corrupt, manipulative and ideologically bent, this claim by the USDA would be a case study in the supportive evidence.
The bureaucrats no doubt have methodologies — the contents of the "market basket" whose prices they measure, probably — that enable them to put out this crap with a straight face, but they only erode the vestigial respect for government that still survives decades of malpractice.
The average American who can no longer afford hamburgers for the kids, or who finds that those boxes of cornflakes last half as long as they used to, is not fooled.
People detest a decline in their standard of living. It requires frequent sacrifices. And after experiencing rises in incomes and rising consumption under Trump, they know whom to blame. No report from the USDA is going to change their minds.