Intercept misses key facts in blaming Saudi Arabia for inflation

November 15, 2021

By Tim Worstall

The Intercept blames American inflation purely upon Saudi Arabia — in fact, upon the Crown Prince there. This is at best wishful thinking, possibly deliberate misdirection. Most American inflation is about American domestic policy.

The Intercept: “The Main Driver Of Inflation Is A Murderous Maniac in Riyadh”.

Yes, we get that President Joe Biden is blaming inflation on gas prices. But the purpose of the media is to do that speaking truth to power, not making excuses for those in power, nor repeating their talking points.

The truth is that the U.S. is self-sufficient in oil these days as a result of fracking, even exports some. The global oil price, as a result, has much less influence upon inflation in the U.S.

It is true that global prices can affect the local inflation rate. The global shortage of chips to make new cars has meant used auto prices have jumped. But the thing about global influences is that they are global. The U.S. inflation rate is 6.2%, that of Europe 3.2%. The difference has to be about different political and economic policies in the two places.

There are different such policies too. The European countries are not mounting vast new spending plans off the back of expanded budget deficits for example. Whatever we think about the spending, however much we support the policy, the effect of doing this upon inflation is to raise, increase, it. The US budget deficit is larger than most elsewhere, U.S. monetary policy is looser than elsewhere, inflation is higher. That’s just how the economy works.

The Intercept is one of the top 500 global media sites. Traffic is running at near 5 million visits a month. It was set up to be as a charitably funded properly independent monitor of the global news, not to be an excuse maker for progressive politicians. The readers deserve better than this analysis they’re being offered.

The global oil price does not explain current American inflation. The Intercept saying that it does, that it’s all down to the pique of one foreign ruler, is excuse-making for current domestic policy. Actually speaking truth to power would explain what is really happening. Even if it were to say that the benefits of current spending were worth this inflation – but telling us that it is domestic policy increasing prices is the right thing to do.


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