There is quite a bit of talk, especially among people on the political right, that inflation is coming back.
Guess what. Inflation has been rampant for many years. At least 3 significant items, that are considered important in people's lives, have been going way up in cost during recent years. The cost of housing, the cost of healthcare and the cost of a college education.
Now some of the rest of society is trying to catch up with these costs. For instance raising the minimum wage so workers, in places like supermarkets and restaurants, can afford rent. Government spending has been increasing also; for instance subsidizing the cost of healthcare with Medicare, Medicaid and Obamacare.
In my opinion, attempts to create a more fair society does have the side effect of spreading inflation across wider sectors of the economy. Prices, such as found at the supermarket, have been dirt cheap for many years relative to these other things. Society has become used to low prices, at places like Walmart, on the backs of an army of low wage workers.
Technology and globalization has brought down the costs for many goods and services that we have become accustom to. We just can't "have it all." In some ways, we, as consumers, have become spoiled.
In many cases, business gets the blame, but quite a bit of business does operate on a thin margin.
In small businesses, the owner sometimes makes less than low wage employees after bills are paid.
In the case of large corporations, there may be a handful of overpaid executives, but the bulk of the budget pie still goes to the cost of the goods on supermarket shelves and a large army of low wage workers.
Many economists will say that inflation is caused by the Federal Reserve creating too much money. More money chasing the same number of goods and services. They also will say that there is too much government spending. Government pumping this new money into the economy.
There is an element of truth here, but the problem is that it isn't easy to turn off the spigot. Turning off the spigot is painful and creates a situation where lots of people can no longer afford things like housing, healthcare and college.
Turning off the spigot also pulls the "punchbowl" away from vast industries; for instance healthcare. It creates painful situations where landlords and homeowners become "upside down" in their mortgages.
Speaking of the printing of money, it seems like government spending needs to be propped up by the Federal Reserve. Idealistically, government revenue would come from taxes, but taxes are never popular. Republicans are pretty much all anti tax to the point of even talking about a "no new taxes" infrastructure bill.
Democrats are not enthusiastic about taxes either. Taxes are a nonstarter on the campaign trail. There is also the fear that taxation will "slow down" the economy and job creation.
It's like no one wants to say it, but consumers and voters are kind of spoiled.
We can change our culture and look more at the big picture, beyond our own self interests, but that takes a new way of thinking.
It's like we can't get beyond blaming government, corporations, "the bad guys," "the welfare moms," or whatever for these problems. What we really need is a cultural evolution.