Dan Aykroyd lampooning Jimmy Carter and inflation on Saturday Night Live in the 1970s was legendary. In one skit, Aykroyd said, “Inflation is our friend! Wouldn’t you like to own a $4,000 suit, smoke a $75 cigar, drive a $600,000 car? I know I would! Everybody will be a millionaire!”
But inflation is no laughing matter. If sending money to people made us richer, our government would have printed millions of dollars a long time ago. The lessons of Argentina, Venezuela, and Zimbabwe, who did just that and destroyed their economies, are a cautionary tale. Of course, that didn’t stop Democrats from passing a third stimulus one year ago this month—$1,400 to nearly all and $300 bonuses to not work. Not a single Republican voted for that disastrous bill. Economists shuddered. The $1.9 trillion was all borrowed, and we have suffered the consequences of labor shortages and inflation ever since.
AMAC prides itself on being member-driven. We take our marching orders on the policies we will support or oppose from our members. How do we discern what our members want? Simple. We ask them. This past week’s poll on inflation asked in part, “How have you managed during these bleak economic times?” The top two selected answers were, “I’ve deliberately made my travel more meaningful to reduce trips to save on gas” and “I’m eating out less so I can purchase more groceries.” But there were over 740 comments. Below is just a spot sample of over 20 comments on what you, our valued AMAC members, are telling us, in your own words.
“Our Golden years are greatly and painfully diminished.” – Leslie
“Our Kia is 12 years old and starting to cost more to repair. We’re fearful of another car purchase while this administration is in office.” – Larry & Linda
“Not much I can do but grin and bear it all. – John
“I’ve lost weight.” – David
“I feel terrible for young couples with kids.” – John
“My greatest economic fear is that capitalism is moving in the direction of socialism.” – David
“My grocery bill has tripled since Biden took office. The situation we’re being forced to live under is due to an unwillingness to learn from foolish mistakes for the sake of a chimerical ideology.” – Kim
“You can only poke a sleeping bear so long before it wakes.” – Ron
“We can’t support deserving charitable organizations in the same way we did in the past. Thanks Joe.” – Phillip
“The real problem is once prices go up, they never go back to where they were originally especially in grocery stores.” – Babs
“Pray our members can survive these increases. I miss Ronald Reagan.” – Mike L.
“No spring baseball for me– costs too much.” – G.B.
“I’ve started purchasing more store brands.” – Susan
“If you have to ask what we can do about this, then you are the problem.” – J.C.
“Well, I guess it’s dog food for dinner again. Just because I saved up a few dollars over my lifetime for emergencies and funeral expenses and my kids are grown, I cannot get food stamps.” – Fred
My out-of-pocket Medicare has made it impossible for me to have necessary surgery (carpal tunnel and minor foot surgery). – Donna
“I cut memberships to health clubs to save money. I’m not buying needed clothes to save money. – Dr. K.F.
“I’m trying to eliminate as much travel as possible. I use Zoom to attend worship services. I’ve changed barbers to one closer to home.” – Richard
“Now my car only goes where I have to be.” – Ingrid
“The push for ‘green’ energy and electric vehicles is absolute foolishness and will only lead to more energy problems. It’s sad that our leaders are so ignorant about the physical sciences.” – Steve P.
“My already reduced lifestyle is pulled back even more.’ – Don B.
“I was already living frugally, so I don’t know how much more frugally I can be.” – Darlene A.
“Maybe our savings will last, or maybe not; we don’t know. But we are rich in children, so someone will look after us; but who will look after them?” – Meredith
“All the difficulties we are currently experiencing in this country are totally unnecessary and have been purposely manufactured by our government.” – Jax
Jeff Szymanski works in political communications at AMAC, a senior benefits organization with nearly 2.4 million members. He previously taught high school economics for 15 years.
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