The so-called "Inflation Reduction Act" is the Biden administration's attempt to reduce...
The Crypto Christian Breaks Down Inflation Numbers
The U.S. Department of Labor has announced new inflation numbers... and it's not good. Inflation has struck a new 40-year high of 8.6% year over year. But 8.6% doesn't tell the full story...
The Crypto Christian is going to break down the inflation numbers from the Consumer Price Index (CPI), how to define inflation, and what if these numbers are even accurate.
First: Defining Inflation
Put in the most simple terms, inflation is the increase in the supply of money. This increase devalues our currency and causes an increase in prices.
Sometimes inflation impacts certain asset classes more than others or can take a long time to creep into the economy.
Breakdown of the official Consumer Price Index (CPI) Inflation numbers:
The CPI is a basket of goods and services most consumers are utilizing on an everyday basis. This includes things such as gas, groceries, medical expenses, and transportation.
Here are some of the shocking numbers (source):
- Food at home 10.1% increase
- Food away from home 11.9% increase
- Gasoline (all types) 50.3% increase
- Used cars 16.1% increase
- Shelter 5.5% increase
It should be noted the CPI is not a perfect measure of inflation. The rise in prices affects people differently.
As an example, a single wealthy individual who pays more at the pump for gas doesn't about paying $4-$6 for a gallon of gas... A working class individual, family, or retired senior is impacted far more.
The problem with reading numbers is we don't grasp the human misery that this causes. You must consider how this impacts a senior who can longer work. Or a young person making $15 an hour.
Inflation forces people to change their lifestyle, take on debt, become dependent on family members or the government to simply make it paycheck to paycheck.
It also prevents young people, the poor, and working class members from pouring their money into investable assets in hopes of retirement someday. For instance, many Millennials and Generation Zer's will put off buying their first home because they can't afford to make a downpayment.
Are the official inflation numbers accurate?
Answering this question is a little subjective, but we believe the answer to be a hard no.
According to the Washington Post, rent increased 11.3% on a national level in 2021 (data for 2022 is incomplete - you can view WaPo's numbers and view rent increases in your county here).
Truflation reports the number to be closer to 10.6% (source). The problem with the CPI is that they are highly incentivized to report better news in order to make the government's fiscal policies look stronger (regardless of who is in the White House).
Anecdotally, we believe inflation to be higher than 8.6% by virtue of having been to the grocery store recently, filling up our gas tanks each week, and paying our utility bills.
What should Christians do about inflation?
Christians ought to recognize the threat of inflation and take steps to better secure their finances. Without providing financial advice, here are a few things you can consider doing:
- Buy household items in bulk whenever possible.
- Consider embracing Bitcoin as a savings technology.
- Take all financial concerns to God in prayer.
- Re-evaluate your spending habits.
- Reach out to those greatly impacted by inflation and help.
Inflation creates a great deal of silent suffering. Do as God commands, reach out to those who may need help, and give generously in times of need.