CNBC published an article touting the fact that wages “may increase” as a “silver lining” of rampant inflation.
As the outlet reported on Thursday afternoon:
Already, prices on some goods, like cars, are noticeably higher, stoking fears that a sudden uptick in inflation will decrease purchasing power over time. Although consumers may pay more for everyday items, it’s not all bad news as far as household income and spending goes. Companies facing a labor shortage are also paying more to get workers to walk in the door.
Workers already saw a bump in their paychecks for June. As of the latest tally, average hourly earnings rose 0.3% month over month and 3.6% year over year, according to the Labor Department.
Inflation is the erosion of a currency’s purchasing power over time. If, for example, inflation were to remain at 2%, then the value of every dollar — both in new earnings and previous savings — drops in value by 2% over the course of a year. If earners see wage increases that match inflation — in this case, a 2% wage increase — inflation has no meaningful effect on their lives.
However, price levels have increased by 5% since last June. Under the 3.6% year-over-year wage increase reported by CNBC, most Americans are therefore observing a net 1.4% decrease in purchasing power.
Social media users were quick to notice CNBC’s incomplete information. The outlet’s tweet carrying the story — which has 1,382 quote tweets to 170 likes at the time of writing — was severely “ratioed.”
Inflation’s silver lining: higher salaries https://t.co/DmXuzKlX8z
— CNBC (@CNBC) July 8, 2021
“Tell me you failed economics class but get paid to write about it,” said commentator Ian Miles Cheong.
Tell me you failed economics class but get paid to write about it. https://t.co/bWzOWI6KHE
— Ian Miles Cheong @ stillgray.substack.com (@stillgray) July 8, 2021
“The elites think you’re stupid,” said Ohio State Sen. Michael Rulli.
The elites think you're stupid. https://t.co/H4qRcxs6dM
— Senator Michael Rulli (@michaelrulli) July 8, 2021
“Did a money printer write this?” asked the Cranky Federalist blog.
did a money printer write this? https://t.co/YaC3XBDeAE
— Cranky Federalist (@CrankyFed) July 8, 2021
“How to say you are a gender studies major without saying it,” tweeted Center for American Liberty founder Harmeet Dhillon.
How to say you are a gender studies major without saying it. https://t.co/bZyYfterAe
— Harmeet K. Dhillon (@pnjaban) July 8, 2021
One user quipped: “For the next article, how about: ‘Earthquake’s silver lining: more construction jobs.’”
For the next article, how about: "Earthquake's silver lining: more construction jobs."
— Alejandro (@gul_garak) July 8, 2021
“The average monthly salary in Zimbabwe is a whopping 217,000 ZWD,” noted another.
True. The average monthly salary in Zimbabwe is a whopping 217,000 ZWD.
— 𝕐𝕒𝕜𝕠𝕧𝕠𝕝𝕗 (@Yakovolf) July 8, 2021
“Amputation’s Silver Lining: only having to buy one shoe or glove,” said a third.
“Amputation’s Silver Lining: only having to buy one shoe or glove” https://t.co/UT6bdaJuUO
— Blue’s Dogs&Bourbon (@dogs_bourbon) July 8, 2021
Americans are witnessing inflation in numerous domains. For one, the average consumer now anticipates a 9% year-over-year increase in their back-to-school spend. For another, executives predict that there is no end in sight for gas prices above $3.00 per gallon.