MSNBC’s Ruhle: The Poors Should Shut Up, Wendy’s Has $3 Breakfast!

If your goal was to find some of the most tone-deaf analyses of how Americans were feeling about living under Bidenomics, look no further than MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle. After previously asserting that Americans’ “dirty little secret” was that they were weathering President Biden’s inflation just fine, she was back during Tuesday night’s The 11th Hour to tell the poors that they needed to shut up about not being able to afford basic necessities because Wendy’s was rolling out a $3 breakfast option.

Ruhle started off fair enough by noting: “Consumers have been sounding off about price fatigue for a while now. And now, a new report from the Fed shows people are still struggling to cover day-to-day expenses even as inflation has slowed.”

But she followed up by suggesting relief was in sight because – in addition to one store change lowering prices – some unhealthy fast food chains were coming out with cheap meals the poors could stuff in their mouths:

But some big consumer brands are beginning to take action. Target says it is cutting prices on 5,000 essential items, things like milk, butter, pet food. Wendy’s is now offering a $3 breakfast deal and rivals like McDonald’s are offering lower-priced value meals.

Maybe she was hoping the fatty food would muffle their whining.

She then brought on her “old friend,” President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Austan Goolsbee and lamented to him that “we need an economic explainer” because “people are confused” and don’t understand “they are also doing quite well” financially.

Goolsbee, a former economic advisor to President Obama, suggested “inflation slowed in 2023 actually, quite a lot…almost as much as it’s ever come down.” He falsely claimed, “we didn’t have a recession while that was happening, which was quite unusual.”

He admitted that “prices are still higher than they were before” and noted he can still hear “people complaining about that.”

Near the end of the interview, Ruhle wanted him to examine “the psyche of the American consumer” and diagnose what their deal was. According to Goolsbee, they were harshing his mellow with their bad “vibes”:

RUHLE: Before we go, the psyche of the American consumer. Right? Lots of things that were not considered luxuries before, now are because things have gotten expensive. However, we have more purchasing power today than we did in 2019. What’s going on with the American consumer psyche?

GOOLSBEE: Like, the vibes! There’s never been a bigger difference between the vibes and the actual numbers than we’re facing right now. And I don’t think we totally understand that.

“And I don’t think we totally understand that. Maybe it is rooted a little bit in, if you ask people how is your personal situation and they say pretty good. How is the national economy?” he gawked.

Goolsbee did have a brush with sanity as he stated the obvious that inflation was “very unpopular.”

The transcript is below. Click “expand” to read:

MSNBC’s The 11th Hour
May 21, 2024
11:50:11 p.m. Eastern

STEPHANIE RUHLE: Consumers have been sounding off about price-fatigue for a while now. And now, a new report from the Fed shows people are still struggling to cover day-to-day expenses even as inflation has slowed.

But some big consumer brands are beginning to take action. Target says it is cutting prices on 5,000 essential items, things like milk, butter, pet food. Wendy’s is now offering a $3 breakfast deal and rivals like McDonald’s are offering lower-priced value meals.

Here to discuss, an old friend of mine, Austan Goolsbee, president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

We need an economic explainer. People are confused, they’re exhausted, but they are also doing quite well. So, I want to start with prices. They’ve been an issue for everyone. What is your take when you hear about big consumer brands actually cutting prices?

AUSTAN GOOLSBEE (president/CEO, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago): Good! But, you’ve had inflation that got way too high in the U.S. and in other countries around the world. Incomes didn’t keep up with that. Now, inflation slowed in 2023 actually, quite a lot. Inflation came down almost as much as it’s ever come down and we didn’t have a recession while that was happening, which was quite unusual. But prices are still higher than they were before and so you see people complaining about that.

(…)

11:54:33 p.m. Eastern

RUHLE: Before we go, the psyche of the American consumer. Right? Lots of things that were not considered luxuries before, now are because things have gotten expensive. However, we have more purchasing power today than we did in 2019. What’s going on with the American consumer psyche?

GOOLSBEE: Like, the vibes! There’s never been a bigger difference between the vibes and the actual numbers than we’re facing right now. And I don’t think we totally understand that. Maybe it is rooted a little bit in, if you ask people how is your personal situation and they say pretty good. How is the national economy? They don’t like it at all.

I think a lot of that comes from inflation being very unpopular and there is a bit of lag behind conditions. But like I say, it has these cross currents going. There are some things that are very strong in the economy. There are some things that are very aggravating in the economy, and that melts into a little bit of this vibe situation where people are more upset than you would think they would be when the unemployment rate is low and the economy is growing.

(…)

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