Cardi B has had it with inflation.
The 30-year-old rapper took to Twitter last week to slam surging prices in a pair of tweets that received more than 40 million views.
“Naaaaaa grocery shopping prices are ridiculous right now 😑You might as well eat outside !!” she tweeted. “...why lettuce cost 6 dollars where I live at?”
When followers responded that she was rich and doesn’t have to worry about rising prices, the Grammy Award-winning artist didn’t budge, posting an expletive-filled video in which she stressed to her followers the importance of budgeting and tracking spending.
“I get a summary of the money that’s being spent in my home every week,” she said. “So I went to the supermarket and I see, like, everything tripled up. Lettuce was like $2 a couple of months ago and now it’s like $7. Of course I’m going to say something.”
While some fans seemed to see her complaint as evidence of selfishness, it’s clear Cardi B saw inflation as a much broader problem.
“I can only imagine what middle-class people or people in the hood [are thinking],” she said of the price increases, adding that she intends to use her platform to raise awareness about inflation and its harmful effects.
‘Inflation Does Not Disturb Them’
It’s refreshing to see someone with Cardi B’s stature speak out on inflation, something few celebrities have done.
After all, inflation tends to harm the poorest among us the most. Unlike wealthier people, they rarely can hedge against inflation with assets—such as homes, stocks, and other commodities. A recent Brookings Institution analysis found that global increases could push millions of lower-income people back into poverty, as they did during the 2010-2012 food price spike.
In her video, Cardi B doesn’t name a culprit—but she need look no further than the Federal Reserve. Over a span of just 30 months, the central banking system of the United States printed an astonishing $7 trillion, “flooding the system with money, in the words of Fed Chairman Jerome Powell.
The question is not why this vast increase in the money supply resulted in price inflation. The question is how could it possibly not have resulted in inflation.
It’s Economics 101, which might lead some to wonder how Powell and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen could not have anticipated the ramifications of their policy. The answer is, they almost certainly did know.
In his seminal work Economics in One Lesson, Henry Hazlitt explained how the game works.
“The more knowing inflationists recognize that any substantial increase in the quantity of money will reduce the purchasing power of each individual monetary unit—in other words, that it will lead to an increase in commodity prices,” Hazlitt explained. “But this does not disturb them. On the contrary, it is precisely why they want the inflation.”
Hazlitt offers various reasons as to why central planners are so comfortable with inflation, but the reasons all stem from the same branch: it offers a select group of people a great deal of power and control over the economy.
The danger, of course, is that history shows governments tend to hurt the economy when they try to control it, and as inflation grows worse, planners often implement policies that exacerbate it. This is precisely why the Nobel Prize-winning economist F.A. Hayek believed it was imperative to avoid this “vicious cycle” by removing control of money from the government before it begins.
“For this reason all those who wish to stop the drift toward increasing government control should concentrate their effort on monetary policy,” Hayek wrote in The Constitution of Liberty.
Removing control of money from the government is no small task, but a new bill in the House of Representatives sponsored by Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) that proposes auditing the Federal Reserve is a step in the right direction.
The bill already has 65 co-sponsors. And who knows, with some luck Massie could even get Cardi B on board.
The “I Like It” singer made it clear she wants to get to the bottom of inflation.
“I want anybody that’s responsible [for] those f***ing prices to put that sh*t down,” she says.