Karol Markowicz: The most expensive holidays ever? This is a big deal

Price of turkey jumps 27% before Thanksgiving

Doug Baker, vice president of industry relations at FMI, on the supply chain challenges heading into the U.S. holiday season.

What will the holidays be like in America this year?

We are heading for the most expensive Thanksgiving—ever. In July, the Biden administration put out information saying Americans would be saving a whopping 16 cents on their Independence Day cookout. Even this savings was unlikely since gas prices had spiked since the previous year. 

But now Americans are expected to take those 16 cents and stretch them into the holidays. Prices have skyrocketed because of inflation and the supply chain crisis.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, prices of all food has gone up 4.6 percent in the last year. Turkey has gone up in price significantly because the price of corn—which is used to feed turkeys—has almost doubled. Gas prices remain high so if you’re going to see your family in another state, expect to feel it at the pump.

Shipping containers are seen at the container terminal of the port of Oakland, California, U.S., October 28, 2021. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
(REUTERS/Carlos Barria)

We’re told, by Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg that these are good problems to have. People have money to spend, allegedly, so they’re spending it and making the price of items go up. The high prices are the Biden administration’s success!

White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain retweeted someone calling this inflation a “high class problem.”

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg prepares to give a live interview to the news media outside of the White House in Washington, U.S., October 13, 2021. REUTERS/Leah Millis
(REUTERS/Leah Millis)

Presents for Christmas have gotten expensive too. That is, if those presents even arrive. White House Press Secretary was famously asked whether people can count on Christmas presents arriving on time. She brushed it off by saying the White House is not the postal service.

That may be true but so much is falling apart in the country while she and the rest of the administration look away. When has a White House been more out of touch with the people?

It’s not just material goods either. We spent over a year separated from family and friends and many of us have not gotten back together. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention keeps putting out conflicting information about what’s safe. In early October, they recommended doing the holidays virtually again this year. After a public outcry, they changed the recommendation.

Also in early October, Dr. Anthony Fauci said it was “too soon” to talk about gathering for Christmas. He also reversed himself after criticism.

The bigger picture is that things that have always been important to Americans—family, school, holidays, work—have been completely sidelined by the pandemic and are in danger of not recovering completely. Is it the world’s biggest deal if your child can’t get the right toy in time for Christmas? Of course not.

But it is a big deal if we pretend it doesn’t matter that our lives have permanently, and negatively, shifted. America has a story and a mission: to be the land of freedom and opportunity. We can’t tuck those things away for another day hoping to someday unearth them again. 

As we’ve learned in the last year, it’s not quite so easy to recover what we surrender. We need to take seriously the things that matter to us and prioritize them no matter what elites will tell us.

When we talk of “the American dream” we don’t add that if you’re able to support yourself and your family that should be sufficient and you shouldn’t want more. We are expected to dream bigger here. America is a place where it’s ok to strive and to yearn. It is the opposite of the socialist fever dream where everyone has just enough. Americans know that is never the reality.

It’s not quite so easy to recover what we surrender.

So yes, it’s a big deal that your holiday meal is so expensive. Yes, it’s a big deal that our supply chain is in tatters and your presents may not arrive. And yes, it’s a big deal when you’re told not to see your family. Do not allow anyone to tell you otherwise.

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