Give Thanks to the Central Planners and Technocrats

Happy Thanksgiving to Native American readers! I’m sure that you all are grateful for the waves of immigration and associated novel viruses that have washed up on American shores since 1492.

The big theme of 2021 so far has been central planners and technocrats in Washington, D.C. exercising hands-on control of the U.S. economy and many aspects of day-to-day American life. Perhaps it would make sense, therefore, to dedicate this Thanksgiving to expressing our gratitude to those who selflessly toil for our benefit, e.g., shielding us from paying market prices for a wide range of goods and services, and managing our currency.

Certainly, the energy of the central planners has worked well for the supply chain leading to Florida supermarkets. A few days ago, I asked at the local Publix whether there was any chance they’d run out of turkeys. “We got a crap ton,” was the reply. Publix did run out of Pepperidge Farm stuffing mix, however, and I had to go to the Publix across the street from the Publix and get the last two bags at that Publix. Cream cheese was sold out (why?).

How about Inflation? Walmart had Jennie-O frozen turkeys for 87 cents/pound, i.e., essentially free, but it was 68 cents/pound in 2020, so that’s 28 percent annual inflation. Speaking of free, Publix has free fruit for shopping kids:

The experts tell us that the 28 percent turkey inflation rate can’t last? How much more far-sighted are experts in D.C. than the rest of us? Here’s a screen shot that I made on April 30, 2015 from the Wall Street Journal:

Keep in mind that the “actual” real (inflation-adjusted) numbers overstate GDP growth from the perspective of an individual American. For example, in 2011 when GDP grew 1.6 percent, the U.S. population grew 0.7 percent, and therefore the GDP per capita grew at closer to 0.9 percent.

Speaking of 1492…

12 thoughts on “Give Thanks to the Central Planners and Technocrats

    • Numerology is, in fact, the dominant religion in US. After all, Americans believe in democracy, which is nothing more than a numerological cult which considers the ritual of counting numbers to enable people selected by the ritual to possess superhuman qualities which allow them to transmute serious crimes into Public Good. To wit: elected by the majority (as counted) of votes people (ahem, democratic saints) are able to do open robbery and claim that this is benign taxation which is necessary for the existence of civilized society, able to bully others around and stick their noses into other people’s businesses and call it “regulation” needed to achieve… whatever, able to murder people in other countries at will and call it “making world safe for democracy”, etc, etc, etc.

      To be frank, I consider anyone believing that democracy is a good idea to be a raving idiot.

  1. Thanks Be Given to the Central Planners and Technocrats!

    And now for them to completely take over child care! Because of all the regulations, establishing a child care business (even a small one) is an expensive proposition, requiring all sorts of red tape to be sorted out and many people to be hired, just to take care of a dozen kids or less during the day. As a result, you can’t profitably run a child care center unless you charge so much that lower-to-middle income people cannot afford it.

    Bloomberg elides past the obvious answer: cut the regulations and allow people more flexibility in setting up their services so that babysitters and child care centers can lower their up-front and operating cost. Get the government the hell out of it to the greatest extent possible and let the child care people in local communities do more to collaborate and take care of themselves. Strip the regulations to the minimum necessary so that overstaffing isn’t an impossible problem.

    No, can’t do that. The answer, of course, is to have the government take the whole enterprise over. This is obviously a problem *that the market cannot solve* because the regulations imposed by the government have made it so onerous that only the government can spend enough money to solve the problem.

    “How Child Care Became the Most Broken Business in America”

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2021-11-18/biden-s-build-back-better-wants-to-save-america-s-child-care-business

    “With expansion, Wow & Flutterville can look after more kids, which means bringing in more money. And yet even after more than a decade, it’s almost impossible to make the math work. “Margins are still thin, even when things are good,” Cohen says.

    That’s because child care doesn’t work like a normal business. Looking after young children comes with a litany of regulations to ensure the programs are safe. There are square footage requirements, zoning restrictions, earthquake preparedness plans, fire safety codes, CPR certifications, nutritional guidelines, rules about parking and outdoor space, liability insurance.”

    Biden has a plan! And once the government runs the child care business, the government can teach those kids whatever the government wants them to learn, especially the nonbinary eight year olds.

    • Inre: Staffing and the Minimum Wage. Why would someone who could get a loan to start a teaching career knock themselves out of the lifetime money train by starting as a child care center worker?

      “The priciest regulation is a child-to-staff ratio requiring one caregiver for every three or four infants, depending on the state. That’s a lot of employees, and it explains why quality care for one baby costs more than many families can afford. Cheaper options are often unlicensed and unregulated, and parents have no guarantee their kids are secure.

      Because babies are so expensive, a lot of businesses simply don’t accept them. Others charge less than it costs to look after them and load up on older children. According to child-care availability studies, almost 80% of spots are reserved for kids 3 years and older, because they’re subject to more lenient staffing requirements, making them cheaper to care for.

      Cohen accepts infants, charging just below $2,000 a month for babies younger than 2 and $1,500 for older kids. That doesn’t leave her much money to pay employees. Before Covid, Wow & Flutterville assistants started off at $15 an hour, barely above Portland’s minimum wage. Experienced teachers made $17. “That’s not a living wage,” she admits. “You really have to love children to do this.”

      So nobody wants those jobs. But with enough money from the Build Back Better plan, Elizabeth Warren will straighten this “you built that, but the government has to take it over because you can’t run that, because of the government!” situation out.

  2. Isn’t a 20% increase in a turkey more like $12 vs $10? The lion kingdom’s favorite sausage went from $4 to $7 this year. The government made another round of jawboning with words like “leaning” & “preparing” for a taper someday, but we know it’s bullshit.

    • Turkey weight is about 20 lb so 29 cents increase translates in just under $6 increase, not insignificant. To be sure all turkey extras went up even more so properly peanut oil – fried 87 cents per pound turkey is going to cost about $70, depending on trimmings

  3. You should try kosher turkey, it went from $1.99 best deal $2.49 regular price per pound and sometimes free when $$$ spent on other purchases to no deals and $3.49 per pound. But it is worth it.
    Why Philip stopped shopping at elite exclusive member – only Costco? I had seen an exclusive deal of 49 cents per pound turkey there.

  4. I am thankful to our fine host PhilG and more importantly Alex, Anonymous, Seniorpablo, averros, Low Skilled Immigrant, and even Pavel for making me come here for the comments!

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