"You Belong To The City" (opens in separate window)

‘unintended’ consequences
of mRNA shots

friday, december 31st, 2021

The story at-a-glance:

MIT scientist Stephanie Seneff’s paper,1Worse Than the Disease: Reviewing Some Possible Unintended Consequences of mRNA Vaccines Against COVID-19,” published in the International Journal of Vaccine Theory, Practice and Research in collaboration with Dr. Greg Nigh, is still one of the best, most comprehensive descriptions of the many possible unintended consequences of the mRNA gene transfer technologies incorrectly referred to as “COVID vaccines.”

December 9, 2021, their paper was reprinted in the Townsend Letter, the Examiner of Alternative Medicine.2 Seneff, Ph.D., a senior research scientist at MIT who has been conducting research at MIT for over five decades, has spent a large portion of her career investigating the hazards and mechanisms of action of glyphosate.

Her attention was diverted to the science of mRNA gene transfer technologies in early 2020, when Operation Warp Speed was announced. As noted in her paper, many factors that lacked precedent, yet were being implemented at breakneck speed, included:

  1. The first-ever use of PEG in an injection
  2. The first-ever use of mRNA gene transfer technology against an infectious agent
  3. The first-ever “vaccine” to make no clear claims about reducing infection, transmissibility or death
  4. The first-ever coronavirus vaccine ever tested on humans (and previous coronavirus vaccines all failed due to antibody-dependent enhancement, a condition in which the antibodies actually facilitate infection rather than defend against it)
  5. The first-ever use of genetically modified polynucleotides in the general population

An Insanely Reckless Process

In a May 2021 interview with me, Seneff said:

“To have developed this incredibly new technology so quickly, and to skip so many steps in the process of evaluating [its safety], it’s an insanely reckless thing that they’ve done. My instinct was that this is bad, and I needed to know [the truth].

So, I really dug into the research literature by the people who’ve developed these vaccines, and then more extensive research literature around those topics. And I don’t see how these vaccines can possibly be doing anything good …”

At the time, just five months into the mass inoculation campaign, Seneff suspected the COVID shots would end up killing far more people than the infection itself. Today, a full year into it, the statistics are grim beyond belief, proving her educated prediction to have been an astute one.

mRNA Jabs Are Shockingly Hazardous

As of December 3, 2021, the U.S. Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) has logged an astounding 927,738 COVID jab related adverse events, including 19,886 deaths.3 VAERS can receive reports from vaccine manufacturers and other international sources, and if we exclude those, the death toll reported in U.S. territories exclusively stands at 9,136.4

Of the total death reports, Pfizer – the only company that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted full licensing for an as-yet unavailable COVID shot – accounts for the vast majority: 13,268, compared to 4,894 for Moderna, 1,651 for Janssen and 73 for an undisclosed brand.

The beatings will contue until the morale improves.

Pfizer also accounts for the vast majority of hospitalizations post-injection, and while those over the age of 66 make up the bulk of deaths, the 25-to-50 age group accounts for most of the hospitalizations. Key side effects that are now being reported in massive numbers include:5

All of these consequences were predicted by Seneff and Nigh in their paper, which makes the events all the more tragic. Importantly, VAERS is notoriously underreported, so the real-world impact of these shots is far greater than what those data suggest.

The Cure Is Indeed Worse Than the Disease

Calculations6 performed by Steve Kirsch, executive director of the COVID-19 Early Treatment Fund, and his team of statisticians suggest VAERS COVID-related reports are underreported by a factor of 41. This is a conservative estimate, supported by calculations using a variety of sources besides VAERS itself.

That means that in the U.S. alone (using the data for U.S. territories only), the actual death toll may be closer to 374,576 (including international deaths reported to VAERS would put the death toll at 815,326), and those are deaths that occurred within days or weeks post-injection.

As Seneff and Nigh explain in their paper, there’s overwhelming reason to suspect that these gene transfer injections will have devastating impacts in the long term, resulting in excess deaths over the next decade.

What’s more, it’s clear that the death toll from the COVID-19 infection itself in the U.S. has been vastly exaggerated, as it’s based on positive PCR tests and even mere suspicion of COVID in the absence of testing. Many died from other causes and just happened to have a positive COVID test at the time of death.

Kirsch estimates the real death tally from COVID-19 to be about 50% of the reported number (which is likely conservative). This means about 380,000 Americans died from COVID-19 (rather than with COVID), whereas the COVID shots may have killed more than 374,570 in the first 11 months alone.

As predicted in the title of Seneff’s paper, it seems the cure may indeed end up being worse than the disease. This is particularly true for children and young adults, who have either died or been permanently disabled by the shots by the thousands, while having an extraordinarily low risk of dying from or being seriously harmed by the infection itself.

Seneff suspects that in the next 10 to 15 years, we’ll see a dramatic spike in prion diseases, autoimmune diseases, neurodegenerative diseases at younger ages, and blood disorders such as blood clots, hemorrhaging, stroke and heart failure.

The Spike Protein Is the Most Dangerous Part of SARS-CoV-2

The reason we’re seeing all these problems from the COVID shots is because they program your cells to continuously produce SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, which we now know is the most dangerous part of the virus. Many experts noted this from the start, wondering what the vaccine developers could possibly be thinking, selecting this as the antigen for their shots.

While the mRNA injections can cause harm in many different ways, one basic problem is that they can overstimulate your immune system to the point of failure. In summary, as your cells start producing the viral spike proteins, your immune cells rally to mop up the proteins and dump them into your lymphatic system. (This is why many report swollen lymph nodes under the arms.)

The antibody response is part of your humoral immunity. You also have cellular immunity, which is part of your innate immune system. Your innate immune system is very powerful. If you’re healthy, it can clear viruses without ever producing a single antibody. Antibodies are actually a second-tier effect when your innate immune system fails.

The problem is that your innate immune system will not be activated and likely will fail to protect you if you get a COVID-19 shot, because it’s bypassing all of the areas where your innate immune system would be brought to bear.

Normally you breathe the virus in and stimulate the production secretory IgA antibodies that protect your respiratory system. When you bypass that route of exposure with a jab in the arm, no secretory IgA antibodies are produced, leaving you susceptible to the infection.

As explained by Ronald Kostoff in an excellent December 8, 2021, Trial Site News article, “COVID-19 ‘Vaccines’: The Wrong Bomb Over the Wrong Target at the Wrong Time”:7

“An effective vaccine would focus on cellular immunity in the respiratory and intestinal tract, in which secretory IgA is produced by your lymphocytes that are located directly underneath the mucous membranes that line the respiratory and intestinal tract.

The antibodies produced by these lymphocytes are ejected through and to the surface of the linings. These antibodies are thus on site to meet air-borne viruses and they may be able to prevent viral binding and infection of the cells.

Unfortunately, the main inoculants used presently for COVID-19 focus on antibodies (IgG and circulating IgA) that occur in the bloodstream. These antibodies protect the internal organs of the body from infectious agents that try to spread via the bloodstream.”

When you are injected with the COVID jab, your body will only induce IgG and circulating IgA — not secretory IgA, and these types of antibodies do not effectively protect your mucous membranes from SARS-CoV-2 infection. So, as noted by Kostoff, the breakthrough infections we’re now seeing “confirm the fundamental design flaws” of this gene transfer technology.

“A natural infection with SARS-CoV-2 (coronavirus) will in most individuals remain localized to the respiratory tract,” Kostoff writes.8 “The vaccines used presently cause cells deep inside our body to express the viral spike protein, which they were never meant to do by nature.

Any cell which expresses this foreign antigen on its surface will come under attack by the immune system, which will involve both IgG antibodies and cytotoxic T-lymphocytes. This may occur in any organ, but the damage will be most severe in vital organs.

We are seeing now that the heart is affected in many young people, leading to myocarditis or even sudden cardiac arrest and death. In other words, we are dropping the wrong bomb on the wrong target at the wrong time!”

In the end, your body will essentially believe that your innate immune system has failed, which means it must bring in the backup cavalry. In essence, your body is now overreacting to something that isn’t true. You’re not actually infected with a virus and your innate immune system has not failed, but your body is forced to respond as if both are true.

Effects Likely to Persist Long Term

What’s more, the synthetic RNA in the mRNA vaccines contains a nucleotide called methyl-pseudouridine, which your body cannot break down, and the RNA is programmed to trigger maximum protein production. So, we’re looking at completely untested manipulation of RNA.

It is very important to recognize that this is a genetically engineered mRNA for the spike protein. It is not identical to the spike protein mRNA that SARS-Cov-2 produces. It’s been significantly altered to avoid being metabolized by your body.

The spike protein your body produces in response to the COVID-19 vaccine mRNA locks into your ACE2 receptor. This is because the genetically engineered new spike protein has additional prolines inserted that prevent the receptors from properly closing, which then cause you to downregulate ACE2. That’s partially how you end up with problems such as pulmonary hypertension, ventricular heart failure and stroke.

As noted in a 2020 paper,11 there’s a “pivotal link” between ACE2 deficiency and SARS-CoV-2 infection. People with ACE2 deficiency tend to be more prone to severe COVID-19. The spike protein suppresses ACE2,12 making the deficiency even worse. According to Seneff, the gene transfer injections essentially do the same thing, and we still don’t know how long the effects last.

Manufacturers initially guessed the synthetic RNA might survive in the human body for about six months. A more recent investigation found the spike protein persisted in recovered COVID patients for 15 months.13

This raises the suspicion that the synthetic and more persistent mRNA in the COVID shots may trigger spike protein production for at least as long, and probably longer.14 What’s more, the number of spike proteins produced by the shots is far greater than what you experience in natural infection.

As explained by Dr. Peter McCullough,15 this means that after your first shot, your body will produce spike protein for at least 15 months. But, when you get shot No. 2 a few weeks later, that shot will cause spike protein production to go on for 15 months or longer. With shot No. 3 six months after that, you produce spike protein for yet another 15 months.

With regular boosters, you may never rid your body of the spike protein. All the while, it’s wreaking havoc with your biology. McCullough likens it to “a permanent install of an inflammatory protein in the human body,” and inflammation is at the heart of most if not all chronic diseases. There’s simply no possible way for these gene transfer shots to improve public health. They’re going to decimate it.

Long-Term Neurological Damage Is To Be Expected

In her paper,16 Seneff describes several key characteristics of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein that suggests it acts as a prion. This could help explain why we’re seeing so many neurological side effects from the shots. According to Seneff, the spike protein produced by the COVID shot, due to the modifications made, may actually make it more of a prion than the spike protein in the actual virus, and a more effective one.

For a detailed technical description of this you can read through Seneff’s paper, but the take-home message is that COVID-19 shots are instruction sets for your body to make a toxic protein that will eventually wind up concentrated in your spleen, from where prion-like protein instructions will be sent out, radically increasing your risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases.

Lung, Heart and Brain Diseases Are Predictable Consequences

Seneff also goes into great detail describing how the spike protein acts as a metabolic poison. While I recommend reading Seneff’s paper in its entirety, I’ve extracted some key sections below, starting with how the spike protein can trigger pathological damage leading to lung damage and heart and brain diseases:

“The picture is now emerging that SARS-CoV-2 has serious effects on the vasculature in multiple organs, including the brain vasculature. In a series of papers, Yuichiro Suzuki in collaboration with other authors presented a strong argument that the spike protein by itself can cause a signaling response in the vasculature with potentially widespread consequences.

These authors observed that, in severe cases of COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2 causes significant morphological changes to the pulmonary vasculature … Furthermore, they showed that exposure of cultured human pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein S1 subunit was sufficient to promote cell signaling without the rest of the virus components.

Follow-on papers showed that the spike protein S1 subunit suppresses ACE2, causing a condition resembling pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), a severe lung disease with very high mortality … The ‘in vivo studies’ they referred to … had shown that SARS coronavirus-induced lung injury was primarily due to inhibition of ACE2 by the SARS-CoV spike protein, causing a large increase in angiotensin-II.

Suzuki et al. (2021) went on to demonstrate experimentally that the S1 component of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, at a low concentration – activated the MEK/ERK/MAPK signaling pathway to promote cell growth. They speculated that these effects would not be restricted to the lung vasculature.

The signaling cascade triggered in the heart vasculature would cause coronary artery disease, and activation in the brain could lead to stroke. Systemic hypertension would also be predicted. They hypothesized that this ability of the spike protein to promote pulmonary arterial hypertension could predispose patients who recover from SARS-CoV-2 to later develop right ventricular heart failure.

Furthermore, they suggested that a similar effect could happen in response to the mRNA vaccines, and they warned of potential long-term consequences to both children and adults who received COVID-19 vaccines based on the spike protein.

An interesting study by Lei et. al. (2021) found that pseudovirus – spheres decorated with the SARS-CoV-2 S1 protein but lacking any viral DNA in their core – caused inflammation and damage in both the arteries and lungs of mice exposed intratracheally.

They then exposed healthy human endothelial cells to the same pseudovirus particles. Binding of these particles to endothelial ACE2 receptors led to mitochondrial damage and fragmentation in those endothelial cells, leading to the characteristic pathological changes in the associated tissue.

This study makes it clear that spike protein alone, unassociated with the rest of the viral genome, is sufficient to cause the endothelial damage associated with COVID-19. The implications for vaccines intended to cause cells to manufacture the spike protein are clear and are an obvious cause for concern.”

The COVID Shots Activate Latent Viruses

As mentioned earlier, shingles infection is turning out to be a rather common side effect of the COVID shot, and like the neurological, vascular and cardiac damage we’re seeing, activation of latent viral infections was also predicted.

One reason why latent viral infections are cropping up in response to the shots is because the shots disable your type I interferon pathway. A second reason is because your immune system is overburdened trying to deal with the inflammatory spike proteins flowing through your body. Something’s got to give, so latent viruses are allowed to break through.

That’s not the end of your potential troubles, however, as these coinfections may worsen or accelerate other conditions, such as Bell’s Palsy, myalgic encephalomyelitis and chronic fatigue syndrome.

Herpes viruses, for example, have been implicated as a trigger of both AIDS18 and chronic fatigue syndrome.19 Some research suggests these diseases don’t appear until viruses from different families partner up and the type 1 interferon pathway is disabled.

With all of that in mind, it seems inevitable that, long term, the COVID mass injection campaign will result in an avalanche of a wide range of debilitating chronic illnesses.

The Truth About COVID-19” exposes the hidden agenda behind the pandemic, showing the countermeasures have nothing to do with public health and everything to do with ushering in a new social and economic system based on totalitarian, technocracy-led control. So, it’s not misinformation they fear. It’s the truth they want to prevent from spreading. Pick up a copy of this best-selling book today before it’s too late.

© 12.20.2021 by Dr. Joseph Mercola, NOQ Report.

[JS: Fair disclosure – I had the first 2 Pfizer shots on March 6th & 27th, and the Pfizer 'Booster' on October 2nd. Now, there are days that I wish I hadn't gone along with my PCP Dr's recommendation. But at 72, with 7 co-morbidities – 1) Heart left ventricle (now pumping at 55% from 20%), 2) Heart bundle blockage (5 stents), 3) Diabetes (Type 2, down from Type 1), 4) Hypertension (under control w/ Rx), 5) Weight (down from 265lbs to 170lbs), 6) COPD (under control w/ inhaler), 7) Kidney Disease Stage 2 Mild (under control w/ meds & diet) – I'm still alive. Uh-oh, watch this Fauci admission.]

A Day In The Life.

Up at 7;30a, Christmas Eve Day, I went thru my finger stick to check my BSL (Blood Sugar Level) and recorded it on my Diabetes 2 chart, made Hawaiian Kona 'Volcanic Estate' Coffee and had a light, buttery croissant for breakfast, had a couple smokes in the semi-cool garage and checked the leftover errands list. It was another bitter cold 29° morning, already. I checked the weather and news on my computer, as usual in the early morning. After breakfast, I listened to the "Chris Plante Show" on WMAL-105.9FM in DC, I checked email and phone voicemails.

Here in Pennsylvania, we have two seasons: Winter & Construction.

I drove over to Becky's, picked her up and we went to Mt Rose Cemetery to visit Mom & Dad, in the Chapel of Memories, take them a Christmas card, and discuss relandscaping the small mausoleum and walk. I dropped her off and went home, crashed on the couch at 12:30p and slept until 4:30. After a couple of chores, I had Blackened Salmon w/ Rice, Green Beans & Sliced Peaches for dinner. I watched Discovery's "Gold Rush" until 11, the switched over to Fox News' "Gutfeld" until midnight. Lights out.

Awake and up at 7:30a on Saturday, Christmas Day, a rainy, 41° morning on its way to 53°. I had one errand to do, and the roads were empty. I got some Marlboros and quarts of half & half, for my Kona Coffee. I had paperwork to do, wished some neighbors Merry Christmas, and waiting for Sherry to call. Glad I'm not flying anywhere for Christmas. I had a BLT Fried Egg-&-Cheese Sandwich for lunch.

Sherry had family over, and arrived around 2:30p. We spent a few hours together and as rain and darkness set-in, she had to leave. I had Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup for dinner, and watched History's "American Pickers" (their new season starts this Saturday). By 11p, I'd had enough TV, and bagged it for the night.

How old would you be, if you didn't know how old you were?

Up at 8:30a on Sunday, fired-up the furnace, even on a 43°, sunny morning, started coffee, fired-up the computer and checked the news and weather (light snow forecast). I had a couple of smokes in the warming-up garage, a buttery, flaky croissant and (sugar free) blueberry preserves for breakfast, and just relaxed. I did a couple loads of laundry, checked email and did some light condo chores. Not much on TV, except MotorTrend's "Iron Resurrection" and after that, the NBCsN's "Mecum Auto Auction" Marathon. It was enough to keep a simple man like me, entertained. High for the day was 53°.

After dinner, I read that over 7,000 airline flight were canceled, due to the flu. I watched History's "Toys That Built America: Snack Sized", "Technology That Built America", "Engineering That Built America", "Cars That Built the World". "The Men Who Built America" and some other shows, and quit for the night at 11p.

Awake and up at 8:15a on Monday, Christmas +2, 31°, I donned my Turkish Bathrobe as usual, fired-up the furnace and garage heater, started coffee, made cereal (Rice Krispies, Cap'n Crunch & Blueberries), and started the computer. I checked the news and weather, only to see a ***Winter Weather Advisory*** of 1-2", with little or no accumulation. IT'S SNOW HEAVILY OUTSIDE! And it's accumulating on lawns and mulch, and on hard surfaces. Our first snow of the season, and I'm as giddy as a 5-yr old schoolboy! Ice is following the snow, according to the maps.

I listened to the "Best of The Chris Plante Show Year In Review" from 9-12, subbed by the exec producer, Michael Piercey, who is a great sub, since he scripts, pulls all the sound bites and produces all Chris' shows. Sometimes, I think he's better than Chris. I had a Chicken Salad Sandwich on a Croissant for lunch, and relistened to the "CP Best Of Show" podcast all afternoon, since there wasn't anything worth a crap on TV. The snow eventually turned to rain, and some melted, but it looks like it'll be around overnight.

After a Ham Salad Sandwich & Chips and Potato Salad for dinner, I watched MotorTrend's "Bitchin' Rides" until "Tucker", and then over to "Gutfeld" at 11p. Lights out at midnight.

Up at 8a on Tuesday, it was a cold 29° outside, with a lot of leftover snow from yesterday afternoon's brief blizzard. I fired-up the furnace and garage heater, opened-up the computer to check the weather and news, started coffee, had a couple smokes in the slowly-warming garage, and a light breakfast. I had r/s low back pain, so I took a 5mg Valium, which sort-of fixed the problem, temporarily. I did a couple errands, but decided to wait to go food shopping until tomorrow, to give Weis Market time to restock from the Christmas Holiday madhouse.

I had an Olive Loaf Sub for lunch, did some light condo chores, and had a 2hr snooze on the LR couch. I skipped dinner, and watched History's "Curse of Oak Island" for the rest of the evening, unplugging at 11p.

Up at 7:30a on Wednesday, I did the usual morning heat routines, had a couple of smokes while coffee brewed in my Chemex Coffee System, checked the weather and news on my computer, and scanned my errands list. I listened to the first hour of the "Best of The Chris Plante Show Year In Review", and then left at 10a, for Weis Market to get my list fulfilled. Back by 11:15, I unloaded, put stuff away and finished the last 30mins of the "CP Show". After a Prosciutto, Lettuce, and Tomato Sandwich for lunch, I did some condo chores, called Sherry (she's sick), and grabbed a 2hr snooze on the LR couch.

I had a Classic BLT for dinner, watched Fox News, until Fox Sports-1's special, "All Madden" came on, then recorded it on my computer's https://Hauppauge Digital Co's special recording system took over, at 9p. I watched "Tucker", "Laura" – both subbed by other Fox personnel – and finally, "Gutfeld" until midnight. Lights out.

I slept-in until 9:45a on Thursday, as it was an overcast and "balmy" 46° morning. I could have slept until noon. I did the usual morning routines, had coffee and a light breakfast, checked the weather and news on the computer, and tuned into "The Chris Plante Show", with a sub-host. I had a couple errands to do, called Sherry (she's still not back to 100%) and plowed thru some paperwork and computer maintenance. We'll get back together when she's feeling better. I had nothing else to do by 5p, so I had Eggs Benedict w/ Ham Steak & Homefries for dinner, and watched TV for the rest of the evening, until 11:30p.

Here are the Best Optical Illusions of 2021, for your viewing pleasure.

No, I'm not going anywhere for any New Year's Eve celebration. There are too many drunks on the road, as there are with July 4th, so I stay home, unless it's an emergency.

Have a Safe, Healthy and Happy 2022!

The Cuomos Are Unemployed, Smollet Is Guilty, and Rittenhouse Is Free. MERRY CHRISTMAS!

What a horrible time to be a lib. The beloved Cuomo brothers are FINALLY unemployed. One lost his gig for being an alleged perv (though killing 15,000 elderly people SHOULD have been his downfall). The other is also an alleged perv BUT lost his gig trying to defame his brother’s victims. Who raised these miscreants?

Kyle Rittenhouse got the verdict he deserved, though anyone with an ounce of brain knew he shouldn’t have been brought to trial.

Now we have the cooked Christmas goose we all wanted: Jussie Smollet is the lying liar we all knew he was. The best part is, the liberal elite coddled this toolbag. Jussie rubbed liar elbows with Kamala Harris, Oprah, and the Obamas. I’m watching their Twitter accounts for outrage. Nothing yet.

Smollet produced the DUMBEST lie in the 21st century (quite a feat considering that Hillary started the “Trump-Russia collusion” whoopsie).

This was Smollet’s plan:

I went out for a Subway sandwich at around 2:00 a.m. It was -16 degrees Fahrenheit. Two white guys wearing MAGA hats, in Chicago, a liberal wasteland, beat me up. They were traveling with bleach and a noose. The two white guys in MAGA hats recognized me from a show NO Trumper would ever watch. This idea was worse than “Carrie, The Musical.”

As a Trumper with a collection of MAGA hats, I’m not surprised Smollet tried to blame my tribe. Have you seen how many fake hate crimes there have been? The answer is 448. Trumpers are so NOT racist that the left has to pretend we are. You know, for the narrative.

RELATED: Sorry, Commies, You Can’t Ruin Christmas

Also, it takes attention away from the fact that the left is allowing people to shoplift hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of swag from places like Louis Vuitton.

I’m not mad Smollet lied to make my people look bad. I’m not mad that swarms of shoplifters are swiping “mad swag” from high-end stores (you get what you vote for).

I cried when Rittenhouse was found not guilty. You can never tell which way a jury will go.

We all knew the Cuomos are scumbags. I’m just happy the world is now starting to see what we all knew a LONG time ago.

I’m glad Smollet got the clown slap in court he deserved.

I’m SO HAPPY that Virginia and Long Island spanked the libs in the November election, like the Veruca Salt brats they are.

There is a shift in the wind. Sleeping people are waking up. I just hope fate focuses her crosshairs on Fauci now. It’s long overdue.

© 12.10.2021 by Kevin Downey Jr, "PJMedia.com"

Degrading The Dollar.

America’s inflation has more staying power and deeper roots than Washington admits. Given the damage entrenched inflation can do to the economy, all should wish the price pressure dissipates relatively soon.

After months of describing inflation as a “transitory,” Washington has at last admitted what every American has known for some time: inflation is severe and shows no sign of abating. Administration officials refuse to admit error—not unusual in Washington—but they have at least acknowledged the inflationary reality and have walked back earlier comments. Because inflation has more fundamental roots than Washington has yet admitted, it is comforting that monetary policy has at last begun—though only just begun—to deal with the threat.

Overwhelming evidence has forced the change in Washington’s tune. At the close of 2020, the Federal Reserve (Fed) confidently forecast low inflation for 2021. Using its preferred indicator, the consumer price index deflator (CPI), it announced its expectation of 1.8 percent inflation for this year. Last spring, the Biden administration also forecast low inflation. Its budget put 2021 CPI inflation at 2.1 percent. By October, the CPI was up at a 7.0 percent annual rate for the year so far, more than three times the budget forecast. The consumer price deflator had risen at a 5.1 percent annual rate, more than twice the Fed’s original forecast. It has become impossible to dismiss reality.

So far, administration spokespeople—Fed Chairman Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen—have blamed inflation entirely on supply chain problems. Some official rhetoric unsurprisingly includes the usual accusations of price gouging by evil businesspeople, but that is mostly a way of deflecting blame. There is some merit in their contention. Months of lockdown and quarantine in 2020 and 2021 left production facilities and shipping arrangements unable to respond fully to the economy’s rebound from pandemic strictures. But if supply-chain issues have contributed to inflationary pressures, they are more complex and less easily resolved than Washington suggests. Still more disturbing is how the official commentary ignores more fundamental inflationary threats from past monetary and fiscal policies, as well as from changing world trade patterns.

Denial Runs Deep

The stakes are high. If inflation fails to dissipate, as Washington promises it will, rising prices will embed themselves in people’s expectations and in doing so distort everything in the economy, none of it to the good. Inflation can take on a life of its own as wage demands reflect expectations of future cost of living increases, and pay agreements assume that rising prices will compensate for inflated wage hikes. This self-sustaining pattern makes any efforts to ease the pressure that much more difficult. The uncertainties inflation creates about value will make planning impossible. Businesses accordingly will hold back from the long-term investments on which economic growth depends. Investors will flee stocks and bonds in favor of real estate and other assets that they believe will keep up with the rising cost of living. Interest rates will rise, and stock prices fall. Perhaps today’s real estate surge is a sign that this kind of unproductive adjustment has already begun. All will combine to slow the economy’s pace of growth.

Even if, as Washington says, the entire inflation problem is supply chain related, the pressure will last longer than Powell, Yellen, and the White House have suggested. Certainly, the nation’s worker shortage will not disappear overnight. Fears of infection have kept many people away from the workplace and will continue to do so, while government benefits, even after the end of special unemployment payments, will allow others to stay at home. This is no small number. Recent Labor Department statistics show that the workforce is still 5.5 million, or 3.5 percent, below pre-pandemic levels. On top of this effect, vaccine policies, government and private, have further curtailed the nation’s workforce. Little hard data exists on this question, but an extrapolation of anecdotal evidence suggests the loss of one million more workers.

At the same time, the Delta and now Omicron variants have kept production facilities shuttered in China and other major Asian export economies. The loss of these facilities has caused major interruptions in the flow to the United States of consumer goods—clothing, shoes, and toys especially—as well as parts needed for domestic production efforts. Malaysia, for instance, is a major supplier of computer chips for cars.

Oil Boil

Perhaps most significant in this mélange of trouble is the energy shortage. The post-pandemic demand surge would have strained production potentials in the best of circumstances, but policy actions have made matters worse. President Biden began his term by shutting down the Keystone Pipeline and doing what he could to curtail fracking. Whatever the justification for his actions, they have contributed to a 14 percent drop in North American fossil fuel production. Green initiatives have exacerbated the problem. Marginal oil and gas production was shut down, as were coal mines. It will take time to restart these operations even if President Biden were to reverse his policies tomorrow. It is harder still to ramp up wind, solar, hydro, or nuclear to meet heightened energy demands.

These are not problems that dissipate quickly, whatever Biden, Powell, and Yellen claim. It looks as though Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg’s forecast of full relief by mid-2022 stands on the optimistic side of likelihoods. And once supply chain problems ease, it will take even longer to see a reflection in inflationary pressures. And there is a still more ominous side to the inflation equation. Behind the supply chain issues lie the fundamentally inflationary policies pursued by Washington for years now.

Easy Money

Pretty much consistently since the 2008 financial crisis, our fiscal and monetary policies, under both Democrat and Republican administrations, have been extraordinarily expansive. Unprecedented budget deficits have become common. Easy monetary policies have flooded the economy with new money. These policies have financed aggressive government spending with the electronic equivalent of the printing press. The Fed during this time has purchased over $5.0 trillion in newly issued federal debt, over $3.0 trillion of it in the past year alone. Both history and economic theory identify such behavior as a primary cause of inflation. Even if the president’s huge “Build Back Better” spending program fails to become law, the stage seems set for still more inflation. History shows that the lags from such policies to inflation are often long and always variable, but it is beginning to look—supply chain considerations aside—as though these lags have run their course and the inflation has arrived.

Ongoing adjustments in world trade seem set to add to inflationary pressures. For decades, the U.S. has sourced cheap products from China and other emerging economies. Perhaps it was these cheap sources that elongated the lags from floods of liquidity to an inflationary response. But now wages in China, though still low by the standards of the developed world, are beginning to catch up, while the old supply arrangements are becoming less reliable. Whether this is true of not, it should be clear that a major inflation moderator of the past is weakening. Moreover, decades of low birth rates have slowed the flow of new workers into the labor force just as the huge baby-boom generation is retiring. Today’s immediate labor shortage has other causes, but the demographic effect will surely intensify labor shortages over time, creating an inflationary push of its own.

Because of these additional and more fundamental inflationary considerations, it is welcome that the Fed has at least begun to change policy. It has committed to slowing the pace at which it adds liquidity to financial markets, what the Fed calls “quantitative easing.” Each month it will add a little less than the month before until, by the middle of 2022, the Fed will end the program entirely. Then, if inflation has not yet abated, the Fed plans to raise interest rates and move toward a still more restrictive, anti-inflationary policy posture. It may be too little, too late to head off inflationary pressures, not least because federal government spending continues along an expansionary path, but one takes what one can get.

Given the damage entrenched inflation can do to the economy— and people’s lives—all should wish that Washington is correct, and that the price pressure dissipates relatively soon. But since that outlook is highly unlikely, a more effective path would trade fond hopes for a cold realization at the Fed and in Congress that they need to reverse the policies of the past. The Fed should drain excess liquidity from the economy faster than is presently planned, and the government must reconsider its drive to accelerate the federal spending spree.

© 12.07.2021 by Milton Ezrati, "AmericanMind.org"

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