Finally, people have found something to agree about. Last week, economics professor Teresa Ghilarducci penned an op-ed for Bloomberg News in which she offers tips on how people who earn less than $289,000 a year can cope with inflation. Her piece got quite a negative Twitter reaction from people across the political spectrum.
If you make over $289,000 a year, the column tells us, inflation will not sting as bad as it would if you make $50,000 a year. Paying upwards of $5 for a gallon of gas is a lot harder to do when you don’t make nearly $300,000 a year, apparently. I majored in English, but even I could figure that out.
But the advice she gives to plebeians to cope with inflation is what really set the negative Twitter reactions off. How to deal with rising fuel prices? Ditch your car — heck, sell it as a shortage of new cars has made your used car worth way more than it should be — and jump on a bus. Public transportation fares are only up 8% compared with gasoline that is up 38%, you see.
You may not like riding on the bus — I like to drive directly to my desired destination — but tough beans because some people are secretly very happy fuel costs are soaring, and you are being forced to choose greener alternatives. The cost of meat has soared considerably, as well, but not to worry, porridge is good for you. Simply replace your Sunday pot roast with a bowl of lentil and bean soup.
Though her column didn’t mention it, some think now is also a good time to try another alternative to meat: edible bugs. Unlike cows and pigs, raising edible insects requires a fraction of the land, water and other resources. Bugs are cold-blooded invertebrates. They are efficient. Much more of the food they eat is converted into edible bug body parts than is the case with our friends the cows.
Cows are warm-blooded vertebrates. They need to consume lots of food just to keep their body temperature steady. Their food is grown on farms. Fossil fuels must be burned to harvest, process and transport that food. Farming requires lots of land and water. In other words, inflationary pressures offer a great opportunity to explore new delicacies, such as Bug Wellington and Bug Tartare.
Were you among the millions of Americans who got a pet during covid? I am. I was blessed to be joined by my best buddy ever, Thurber the yellow lab. But being a plebe, the column suggests, I probably didn’t think things through, and I’d be wise to “rethink those costly pet medical needs.”
That is, if it comes down to Thurber getting a pricy medical treatment to save his life, maybe it’s better to just let the little guy suffer on to an untimely end — because pet medical procedures are best paid for by people earning $300,000 or more per year.
I know I am just a commoner, but I, too, have some ideas on how to beat inflation. I’m going to vote the dummies out of office whose inane government spending policies are directly causing the value of our money to erode. And when they lose their taxpayer-funded paychecks, I’ll gladly point them to the least-expensive places to get edible bug soup.
Tom Purcell is an author and humor columnist for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Email him at Tom@TomPurcell.com.