Cost of Thanksgiving Dinner Rises Twice as Fast as Wages

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Your Thanksgiving Day meal is going to cost about 8% more, nearly twice the increase in average weekly earnings since a year ago.

For a family gathering of 10, expect to spend about $85 during President Joe Biden's first Thanksgiving year in office, roughly $6 more than last November, when Donald Trump was president.

Ironically, the Biden administration boasted just months ago that a Fourth of July barbecue would run 16 cents less than it did in 2020. Unfortunately, your Thanksgiving feast will eat through those saved pennies.

The cost of turkey this Thanksgiving appears to be closing the gap with the price of filet mignon last year, jumping 21% since last Thanksgiving.

Some families may forgo the traditional meal altogether—due to shortages rather than price. Earlier this month, more than 60% of stores didn’t even have turkeys in stock.

But it’s not just turkey that is going up in price. Butter for those rolls costs 7% more than last year, as does ham, while eggs used in an assortment of baked goods soared a whopping 27%.

Fueling up the minivan to travel over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house will cost 63% more this year, with gas jumping from $2.02 per gallon on average to $3.29 per gallon—costing you another $10 for a 200-mile round trip.

Misguided policies from President Joe Biden's administration are largely to blame for these woes.

Outsize unemployment benefits, vaccine mandates, and public school closures have resulted in a labor shortage, as evidenced by a record number of job openings. In fact, job openings exceed the total number of Americans officially unemployed.

In part because employers must offer wages that are competitive with government welfare spending, the price of labor is increasing.

The extensive bottlenecks this year—including ensuring delivery of that turkey from the farm to your table—are caused by COVID-19 vaccine mandates, tightening environmental regulations on the trucking industry, and onerous distancing and capacity restrictions on processing plants.  

Unfortunately, the spending proposed by Congress—including the “bipartisan” infrastructure package just signed into law—adds to the risk of higher inflation to come. The Federal Reserve likely will create trillions of dollars more of fiat currency—currency not backed by a commodity or financial asset—to purchase government bonds, financing the gusher of government spending.

As more dollars chase limited economic resources, the price of those resources is more likely to increase. 

In addition to the cost of living rising, government-induced inflation also siphons wealth from those who save to the federal government, as the real worth of accumulated savings declines.

As economist Henry Hazlitt explained 45 years ago: “[Inflation] unbalances, reduces, and misdirects production. It leads to unemployment and to malemployment.” 

When government gobbles up more of the economy, less wealth and decision-making power remains in the hands of Americans.

Inflation is political. The Biden administration is now working hand in hand with the central bank to allow the government to spend enormous quantities of money without, right now, raising taxes outright.

Families that experienced a rise in the cost of living exceeding their income this past year will continue to feel the consequences of this so-called transitory inflation for years to come.

All of the left-wing spending proposals risk more of the same. Happy Thanksgiving.

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