Pity the poor folks who are looking to renew their mortgages these days as national banks across the globe scurry to rein in the money supply in what seems to be a vain attempt to slow the rampant inflation infecting all of our economies.
Partisans from the parties not currently in power have been quick to hammer those who are for not solving the issue—all the while deftly avoiding providing any solutions or suggestions beyond sniping for cheap political points. This is a tactic that has been on the rise in most democracies where you don’t risk being thrown in the gulag for chirping at the glorious leaders.
Such a critic’s approach runs against the supposed role of His Majesty’s Loyal Opposition(s) and sensible decency. Go ahead, challenge and critique, but please provide a potentially viable solution beyond the name calling that seems to pass for political debate on all fronts these days.
Lost in the current conversations around inflation, particularly in the halls outside power, is that the current scourge we are facing is not so much that there is too much money sloshing about in the global economies as it is the mind-bending supply chain constraints that are currently limiting supply due to the pandemic. As as nearly any struggling business person can tell you the pandemic is clearly not over, despite grand pronouncements from on high as daily calls from sick employees reduce productivity and profits.
As the proverbial wash water gets tossed out of the economic basin through rising interest rates, it is the babies who will find themselves shivering out in the cold. That’s young people struggling to buy a home or seniors struggling to pay the rent and buy medicine and food, even those, who as middle class professionals, are normally insulated against such concerns but are now finding themselves performing increasingly desperate juggling acts. This fuels rising mental and physical health issues that are putting even more strain on our tottering health system.
Adding even more complication to the equation that is inflation is the flight of big money into safe assets such as real estate, compounding the search for a roof overhead. Real estate, particularly urban houses, apartment buildings and condos can turn more tidy profits from short term rentals than long term housing for ordinary people.
These are some of the problems generating the rising costs of just about everything. What isn’t driving the inflation busis the poor, the elderly and youth—they are not to blame, but they are the ones bearing the brunt of the load.
Our political leaders need to stop demonizing disadvantaged groups and start to take concrete steps to repairing the globe’s battered supply chains and labour supplies. None of the problems assailing these sectors are actually new; the global pandemic has simply shone a glaring light on them and has accelerated trends that were already been in play.
We need more from political leadership than fine words and noble aspirations. We need creative and innovative approaches and those are most likely to be found outside of the box. As electors at the bottom of the food chain, it’s our job to pay attention and hold our political leaders’ feet to the fire.