Musical producer

“Free” money can’t fix inflation – the American producer can

In the last 15 months of Joe Biden’s tenure as President of the United States, we have seen inflation increase every month. The rise began before Putin invaded Ukraine and before all the other excuses the president offered. When Biden took office in January 2021, inflation was 1.4%. Liberal economists and Obama administration officials, including Larry Summers and Jason Furman, sounded the alarm more than a year ago when the inflation rate was 1.7%. Fast forward to today, the inflation rate has soared to 8.5% – the highest level since 1981.

In the latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) data, over the past year, used cars are up 35%, town gas is up 22%, bacon is up by 18%, beef increased by 16%, milk increased by 13%, eggs increased by 11% and coffee increased. 11 percent. Overall, current goods rose 14.2%, the largest annual increase since 1947.


Two years ago, at the start of the pandemic, you saw empty shelves in grocery stores. Now the shelves are full, but the prices are higher, and some people say that if this is the “new normal” for food costs, they can’t keep up. (FNC/Fox News)

The 10% rise in food prices represents the largest increase since 1981 and the 13.8% rise in meat, poultry and fish represents the largest increase since 1979. There is no doubt that this inflation hurts Americans across the country.

Rural America feels the pain more than anyone. Inflation is rising at the fastest rate in four decades in America’s heartland. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in the West North Central division, which includes my home state of North Dakota, in addition to Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, and In South Dakota, the inflation rate regularly exceeds that of the country. medium. It reached 8.6% last month. In Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming, inflation is 10.4%.


People shop at a supermarket in Glendale, California on January 12, 2022. – The 7% increase in the Labor Department’s consumer price index (CPI) in the 12 months to December has was the highest since June 1982, when prices rose to ((Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images) / Getty Images)

In sprawling rural states, we drive the farthest to get around. Grocery stores and convenience stores are not around the corner. We travel greater distances to stock up on everyday consumer goods. We travel greater distances to and from work. And we travel greater distances to drop off our children at school. On the agriculture and business side, the food we produce and the products we create must travel longer distances – from the center of the North American continent to the ports and hubs used to distribute them to the rest of the country and in the world. As the largest producer of dry edible beans, canola, flaxseed, honey, rye, sunflower, wheat, including durum and spring wheat, in the United States, production costs and d North Dakota shipping are exponentially higher. Likewise, these input costs have been built into the products that rural America buys at the grocery store. Every product on the shelf bears a price tag reflecting the long distance it had to travel and every facet of the supply chain along the way.

North Dakota and much of rural America, however, are commodity-based economies. Farmers and ranchers may be earning more on their crops and livestock, but the dollar won’t stretch that far and input prices for things like fertilizer (which is up 300%), diesel and animal feed is all more expensive. President Biden is wrong when he accuses producers of measuring prices. Whether it’s the oil driller in western North Dakota or the farmer in the east, I’ve never met a producer who wasn’t actively looking to produce more for a buyer’s market. It is short-sighted and cynical to accuse growers of “corporate greed” without acknowledging the increased labor, material and transportation costs they must absorb. In the end, we feel it in North Dakota, we feel it in rural America, like the rest of the United States

Customers line up to checkout during a Black Friday sale at Macy’s, Nov. 26, 2021, in Indianapolis. Overall, retailers are expecting record sales for the holiday season, but low-income customers are struggling to cope with the b (AP Photo/Darron Cummings, File/AP Newsroom)

Even with this backdrop of skyrocketing inflation, there are reports that the Biden administration and the Democrats want to reignite their reckless fiscal and spending spree, otherwise known as the Build Back Broke.


We must be serious about taking measures that will not add more fuel to the fire of inflation. There is no way we can flood the market with more “free” money. The answer to rising costs is not to subsidize the purchase, which will only increase inflationary triggers. The focus should be on the supply side of the economy. North Dakota and Central America are paying the highest prices as the world expects us to feed and feed the world. We want to help ease the pain, but the Biden administration has adopted a punitive bent toward producers, demonizing them in hopes of shifting blame.


It’s time for a change. Stop subsidies, adopt regulatory restrictions and unleash the power of the American producer. End result: we will pay less while growing our economy. Rural America is hurting, but we’re here to help if we get the chance.

Republican Kevin Cramer represents North Dakota in the United States Senate.