Vox takes to TikTok to complain about inflation, except they don’t understand inflation
July 20, 2021
A recent video created by Vox and playing on TikTok shows how liberals and progressives just don’t understand the relationship between the federal government and the rising cost of things, like healthcare, rent and college tuition.
Lots of things are cheaper except everything we need. By @jossfong Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics #learnontiktok #economics #college
The video starts with the premise that inflation is out of control in “everything we need”, which is subsequently established through the use of graphics. The graphics show prices going up between 2000-2020 for rent, healthcare, child care, textbooks and tuition, while prices go down for TV, software, clothes and cell service.
But it misses the reason why prices are going up so rapidly in the areas deemed important by Vox.
In most cases, it’s because of federal intervention in the marketplace, either with regulation, money, or both.
Ironically, that federal intervention that causes inflation is the whole reason why the publication Vox exists in the first place.
Let’s take, for example, college tuition.
While Vox’s video shows rapid inflation of tuition from the year 2000, in fact, the inflationary spiral started two decades previously when the federal government decided that student loans could not be discharged in bankruptcy like ordinary debt.
Why was that important?
Because it meant that student loans had less risk than say, credit card loans, and so more money could be loaned. College tuition of course went up to reflect the ability of people to borrow more. This was followed by a series of decisions that made student loans more profitable for banks and easier to get by students, along with the implementation of student loan subsidies by the government.
As the chart shows, the average cost of tuition and fees during this period started rising rapidly from $4,000 to over $12,000 from 1980 to 2016, after a long period of stability in tuition costs.
Similarly, prior to the enactment of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965, health care spending accounted for less than one percent of GDP in the U.S.
Once the federal government started spending money on medical care, it rapidly expanded until today healthcare spending accounts for nearly 18 percent of our GDP.
We can probably say with confidence that the decision by the government to subsidize the housing market with bond-buying and low-interest rates since 2008-2009 is also responsible, at least to some extent, for the rapid rise in housing prices and rent.
As interest rates in mortgage loans go down, prices in houses and commercial real estate are bound to go up.
So, in a direct fashion, Vox, which was founded by activist “journalist” Ezra Klein— who taught the liberal media to embrace political causes– continues to bear a great deal of responsibility for the inflation that Vox, the publication curated by Millennials, complains about.
“I used to have political aspirations,” Klein, told the Washington Monthly in 2004. “But over time, I found that I enjoy writing far more. More to the point, I think that the creation of a media environment that can sustain and propel progressivism is more important than any single elected official,” he said. “The media is as effective and important an agent for change as the legislative bodies, and I think it’s where I’m happiest and most effective.”
Take a bow then, Ezra.
Inflation can be your monument.
And maybe Vox will feature it on TikTok.