An opinion piece in Bloomberg has drawn the ire of the internet. The essay in question tries to provide suggestions for how to deal with the country’s current issues with inflation.
However, the advice provided left a lot to be desired and for most people, felt like a kick while they were down.
And one piece of advice seemed absolutely cruel.
The tweet above, gives a quick summary of the advice, but leaves out one of the worst parts of it.
The article, written by Teresa Ghilarducci—Schwartz Professor of Economics at the New School for Social Research—said inflation hurts people making less than $289,000 a lot more than those over that annual income. But the inflation of gas and food is bound to hurt even lower income Americans more.
Ghilarducci went on to provide some advice.
It started simply enough by suggesting you budget for your expenses. But it gets bad really quickly.
The next bit of advice is to consider public transportation.
While this would be a great idea normally, the United States has systematically defunded public transportation in many cities. Many municipalities are built around the need to drive a car.
Next the recommendations got condescending, suggesting you look into non-meat options like lentils, since they’re likely to not have jumped as much in price as meat.
Lasty, the advice got macabre, saying you should consider letting major pet medical needs lapse and let your pets die if they become ill or are injured. The example used was pet chemotherapy, which can cost as much as $10,000.
The whole thing had people asking “WTF?”
Commenters online were quick to roast the article.
Who could be surprised the magazine named after its billionaire founder wouldn’t understand the plight of the middle and working class?
But despite the author’s protests people just didn’t get the article, many understood the issue better than Ghilarducci. While she insisted the Federal Reserve’s actions wouldn’t solve inflation, it was pointed out neither would any of the advice in her article.
Letting your pets die, and eating plants instead of meat can possibly save a few bucks, but doesn't bring us any closer to reducing inflation. On top of all that, the article put the onus of inflation on the average and low-income population, with “tips” that do next to nothing to dull the sting of inflated prices.
And while it is contributing to current price hikes, this didn't just happen because of the current conflict in Ukraine. Inflation had been an issue long before that, despite corporations boasting about their record profits.
Ghilarducci’s advice is worthless.
A common refrain from those on the right this is the fault of progressive policies and inflation wasn’t an issue under former Republican President Donald Trump.
This claim is easily debunked.
Trump’s trade war with China caused numerous sections of the food industry to raise prices dramatically, including beef, beer, cheese and soybeans. And during the onset of the pandemic, everyone was buying out toilet paper and bottled water, causing a massive inflation in resells.