Palin: Do newspaper reporters read their own newspapers?

posted at 8:48 am on November 9, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Does the press ever tire of underestimating Sarah Palin?  The latest to assume that Palin doesn’t research her topics is — surprisingly — the venerable Wall Street Journal, and on the equally surprising topic of economicsWhen Palin objected to the Fed’s second round of “quantitative easing”, otherwise known as “printing more money,”  on the basis that American consumers already see enough inflation at the grocery store, reporter Sudeep Reddy scoffed that Palin had no clue and that inflation had been non-existent.  Where could Palin have come up with the idea that prices have been rising for supermarket shoppers?

Three guesses:

So, imagine my dismay when I read an article by Sudeep Reddy in today’s Wall Street Journal criticizing the fact that I mentioned inflation in my comments about QE2 in a speech this morning before a trade-association. Here’s what I said: “everyone who ever goes out shopping for groceries knows that prices have risen significantly over the past year or so. Pump priming would push them even higher.”

Mr. Reddy takes aim at this. He writes: “Grocery prices haven’t risen all that significantly, in fact.” Really? That’s odd, because just last Thursday, November 4, I read an article in Mr. Reddy’s own Wall Street Journal titled “Food Sellers Grit Teeth, Raise PricesPackagers and Supermarkets Pressured to Pass Along Rising Costs, Even as Consumers Pinch Pennies.”

The article noted that “an inflationary tide is beginning to ripple through America’s supermarkets and restaurants…Prices of staples including milk, beef, coffee, cocoa and sugar have risen sharply in recent months.”

In fact, the Wall Street Journal noted that food prices have gone up faster than inflation, although perhaps the language was too obscure for Reddy:

Food prices are rising faster than overall inflation.

Or … maybe not.

The consumer price index for all items minus food and energy rose 0.8% over the year to September, the lowest 12-month increase since March 1961, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said. The food index rose 1.4%, however. The U.S. Agricultural Department is predicting overall food inflation of about 2% to 3% next year.

The WSJ reports that increased demand from China has created more competition for agricultural products, which means price increases.  That’s good news for farmers, but not necessarily good news for consumers.  Steadily increasing gas prices will also contribute to higher food prices as the cost of transporting goods increases, although it’s not as noticeable as it was in 2008, and the WSJ doesn’t mention transportation costs at all.

The problem isn’t that this current inflation rate is somehow historically large.  It isn’t, as Reddy and the original WSJ article notes, although retailers are already having problems in getting consumers to purchase goods in normal quantities because of it.  The point Palin made was that taking a voyage on the QE2 would make a difficult issue for consumers and retailers much worse through the deliberate introduction of even higher inflation, an explicit motivation behind the Fed’s actions.

So Palin was right once again, and once again a reporter winds up with egg on face from starting out with an assumption that Palin couldn’t possibly know what she’s talking about.  Lather, rinse, repeat.


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And yes, for a person that got a 0% raise this year, and puts 15 gallons of gas a week in his car just to get to that job with the 0% raise, the 20 cent increase in gas prices I’ve seen personally plus the 3% increase in food prices over the last year ARE noticeable.

The problem is he’s about to try to create inflation in an economy where salaries are going down or flat. It’s that combination that will absolutely destroy our buying power.

PastorJon on November 9, 2010 at 5:29 PM

The 3% food price increase is a projection for the next twelve months, not what happened during the last 12 months.

Jimbo3 on November 9, 2010 at 5:34 PM

I’m not sure when inflation got redefined as increasing prices. That isn’t what inflation is. It’s an increase in the money supply. Rising prices are the effect of inflation, not inflation itself.
The claim that quantitative easing will cause inflation is wrong. It is inflation. Prices will rise sharply because of it.

single stack on November 9, 2010 at 6:02 PM

Jimbo3 on November 9, 2010 at 5:34 PM

It’s not that hard Jimbo. Personal experience at the grocery store says otherwise.

Hell, have you priced a business class ticket to Europe lately? I go to the same conference every year the 2nd week of December in Amsterdam. Direct from JFK is $2018.00 in coach. Last year flew business class for $2,320.00. Business class today is $6,166.00. It’s coming and it’s coming hard and fast. Palin just wanted to let you know.

CTSherman on November 9, 2010 at 6:03 PM

I may be missing something here,
Jimbo3 on November 9, 2010 at 12:54 PM
It is called sincerity, integrity, character, honesty, and sanity.

I pray you find it someday.

Inanemergencydial on November 9, 2010 at 12:58 PM

What makes you think that I don’t? And what makes you think that you do?

Jimbo3 on November 9, 2010 at 6:06 PM

It’s not that hard Jimbo. Personal experience at the grocery store says otherwise.

Hell, have you priced a business class ticket to Europe lately? I go to the same conference every year the 2nd week of December in Amsterdam. Direct from JFK is $2018.00 in coach. Last year flew business class for $2,320.00. Business class today is $6,166.00. It’s coming and it’s coming hard and fast. Palin just wanted to let you know.

CTSherman on November 9, 2010 at 6:03 PM

Palin didn’t just claim that prices were going up in the future. She claimed that the prices went up significantly in the last 12 or so months.

And, yes, I’ve priced tickets to Europe recently. Economy class is about $800 to $1000 round trip depending on the days. You might want to fly to your conference on Air Lingus or Icelandic Air, BTW. You should be able get a business class round trip to Amsterdam for less than $3000 with a one-stop (rather than direct) if you fly both ways on a weekend.

Jimbo3 on November 9, 2010 at 6:15 PM

Palin didn’t just claim that prices were going up in the future. She claimed that the prices went up significantly in the last 12 or so months.

Jimbo3 on November 9, 2010 at 6:15 PM

I find it difficult to believe that someone is claiming prices haven’t gone up significantly in the last 12 months.

darwin on November 9, 2010 at 6:28 PM

Too much common sense from this women.

royzer on November 9, 2010 at 6:33 PM

What makes you think that I don’t?
Jimbo3 on November 9, 2010 at 6:06 PM

By Reading your posts dear. Bless your heart, I know you believe you have sincerity, integrity, character, honesty, and sanity. In your posts you have been unable to express or convey these attributes. I personally do not know. The perception you lack sincerity, integrity, character, honesty, and sanity, comes from your posts.

IowaWoman on November 9, 2010 at 6:45 PM

I may be missing something here, but Palin was wrong in saying that food and gas prices have risen “significantly” over the last year. 1.4% wouldn’t be significant.

Jimbo3 on November 9, 2010 at 12:54 PM

It is significant when you are paying for it.

tinkerthinker on November 9, 2010 at 8:09 PM

Sarah Palin is RIGHT!

Rush is RIGHT!

Democrats = Liars!

Fact!

dhunter on November 9, 2010 at 8:09 PM

Did anyone watch Sarah’s speech tonight on CNN……LOL

Parker/Spitzer had it LIVE!

*****AMAZING*****

Afterward they had the panel discussion………

SPITZER: “It was brilliant”

PARKER: “ She’s a phenomenon”

NICOLLE WALLACE: “She and Obama optimize this moment in American politics.”

The thought of liberals leaping to their deaths as this woman is sworn in as our next prez puts a smile on my face no matter how crappy of a day I’m having.

Sarah rising, Obama falling.

Life is good!

idesign on November 9, 2010 at 9:33 PM

Well we know she doesn’t write her own stuff that’s longer than two or three sentences.

lexhamfox on November 9, 2010 at 9:56 PM

This hating on experts and the Ivy Leaguers is tired and dumb. You know who goes to Ivy League schools? Smart people.

TheBlueSite on November 9, 2010 at 9:38 AM

Yep! Guys like O’bumbler are so much smarter than the everyday housewife who actually goes to the store and buys the products you say aren’t increasing in price! bIn fact, they are indeed increasing at a pace above the inflation index, which is exactly what she is saying!

What a douche!

That is the point she was making, moron! You can try and sway the argument any way you like, but it won’t pass the smell test. If you seriously think printing money in order to pay for the money previously printed is a good idea, then I’d stay the hell out of those “Ivy league” schools if I were you!

I guess I can just fire up the laser printer and pay for my credit card debt, huh? Same frikkin’ thing! Ya spose O’bumbler and Bernake would let us get away with it?

AllosaursRus on November 10, 2010 at 2:16 AM

Not “delicious” at all. Nice snark, Mr. Morrissey, almost as good as Celebrity Sarah’s snotty response to the WSJ. But she flubbed it. Of course, I had to go to Politico and other news sources to find out the truth.

In her eagerness to point out that she “reads” the WSJ, she proved that, in fact, she didn’t read the article at all.

Lots of ego and ambition but not much else from the “humble” half-term, halfwit governor.

Meredith on November 10, 2010 at 6:17 AM

And, yes, I’ve priced tickets to Europe recently. Economy class is about $800 to $1000 round trip depending on the days. You might want to fly to your conference on Air Lingus or Icelandic Air, BTW. You should be able get a business class round trip to Amsterdam for less than $3000 with a one-stop (rather than direct) if you fly both ways on a weekend.

Jimbo3 on November 9, 2010 at 6:15 PM

You just proved my point regarding inflation. One year ago KLM-Delta direct to AMS from JFK was $2,320.00 with a Monday departure returning on Friday. That’s a 266% increase for the same flights. Thanks for the help with my travel arrangements though. I always enjoy my time in Amsterdam and have met some great people from all over the world. But staying over through Sunday doesn’t work and uhm, read any reviews about Icelandic Air or Air Lingus business class lately?

CTSherman on November 10, 2010 at 6:39 AM

Not “delicious” at all. Nice snark, Mr. Morrissey, almost as good as Celebrity Sarah’s snotty response to the WSJ. But she flubbed it. Of course, I had to go to Politico and other news sources to find out the truth.

In her eagerness to point out that she “reads” the WSJ, she proved that, in fact, she didn’t read the article at all.

Lots of ego and ambition but not much else from the “humble” half-term, halfwit governor.

Meredith on November 10, 2010 at 6:17 AM

you might want to consider rereading Mr Morrissey’s post, no where does it say she reads the wall street journal or that is where she made her observations. All you have to do is shop for groceries to know things cost more, and if you really pay attention you notice when the price stays the same but the size goes down.

RonK on November 10, 2010 at 7:32 AM

You just proved my point regarding inflation. One year ago KLM-Delta direct to AMS from JFK was $2,320.00 with a Monday departure returning on Friday. That’s a 266% increase for the same flights. Thanks for the help with my travel arrangements though. I always enjoy my time in Amsterdam and have met some great people from all over the world. But staying over through Sunday doesn’t work and uhm, read any reviews about Icelandic Air or Air Lingus business class lately?

CTSherman on November 10, 2010 at 6:39 AM

-I’ve took Air Lingus several years ago, but I think I flew economy class from the US. I didn’t think it was so bad, but it was only about a six or so hour trip from Chicago to Dublin.

Jimbo3 on November 10, 2010 at 11:24 AM

Jimbo3 on November 10, 2010 at 11:24 AM

To be fair, I should have read recent reviews about Air Lingus and Iceland Air. Both have upgraded recently and sound decent but neither work for a number of reasons.

In the end the point was whether it’s food, flights, or fuel, prices are rising, some dramatically and not keeping in line with income/wealth. And by the way, we survive on food and fuel. I don’t need to wait on a government report to tell me that, especially when I’m hearing and seeing it from suppliers and vendors.

CTSherman on November 10, 2010 at 12:16 PM

Meredith, when you provide proof that you have successfully managed a state’s budget, to include cutting spending and maintaining a billion dollar surplus without raising taxes, while also keeping said state out of a nationwide recession, then perhaps you will have earned the right to disparage her intelligence. Until that time comes however, you will be seen as little more than a catty, jealous little b–ch on this board. So let me sincerely recommend that you save yourself the embarrassment and STFU.

OlympicLeprechaun on November 10, 2010 at 1:51 PM

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