Sarah Palin Versus Reading Comprehension!

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Either that, or she has a DeLorean Time Machine, in which case I apologizes in advance.

So, upon my usual morning web surfing, I came across this headline:

Sarah Palin Shreds WSJ Reporter For Not Being Able To Read His Own Paper

Uh Oh, some reporter from the “lame-stream press” as she is so fond of labeling anything that isn’t run by FOX or Roger Murdoch… wait, she’s criticizing someone who writes for the Wall Street Journal? Hmmm, I wonder if she knows it’s owned by Murdoch?

Oh well, I got side-bared. Moving along.

She criticizes the report thusly on her ever handy Facebook page:

Ever since 2008, people seem inordinately interested in my reading habits. Among various newspapers, magazines, and local Alaskan papers, I read the Wall Street Journal.

So, imagine my dismay when I read an article by Sudeep Reddy in today’s Wall Street Journal criticizing the fact that I mentioned inflation in my comments about QE2 in a speech this morning before a trade-association. Here’s what I said: “everyone who ever goes out shopping for groceries knows that prices have risen significantly over the past year or so. Pump priming would push them even higher.”

Mr. Reddy takes aim at this. He writes: “Grocery prices haven’t risen all that significantly, in fact.” Really? That’s odd, because just last Thursday, November 4, I read an article in Mr. Reddy’s own Wall Street Journal titled “Food Sellers Grit Teeth, Raise Prices: Packagers and Supermarkets Pressured to Pass Along Rising Costs, Even as Consumers Pinch Pennies.”

Sudeep Reddy, you stupid lame-stream media person, you don’t even know what your talking about!… Or does he? Mrs. Palin provides a clue when she notes this little fact from an article that was published November 4:

The article noted that “an inflationary tide is beginning to ripple through America’s supermarkets and restaurants…Prices of staples including milk, beef, coffee, cocoa and sugar have risen sharply in recent months.”

Note the statement in bold “is beginning“, which means the inflationary trend is just beginning, and hasn’t been occurring. It gets better. If we read the very next sentence, you’ll see the issue at hand is laid out quite clearly:

And food makers and retailers including McDonald’s Corp., Kellogg Co. and Kroger Co. have begun to signal that they’ll try to make consumers shoulder more of the higher costs for ingredients.

It continues:

For food executives, how quickly to pass along higher costs presents difficult choices. Missteps could be costly when the economy remains weak. Many Americans, nervous about high unemployment, have pledged allegiance to their pennies and are willing to trade down on brands, switch supermarkets, opt for Burger King over Applebee’s, or stop dining out altogether to save money.

“The big challenge will be, how much can we swallow and how much can we pass along?” said Jack Brown, chief executive of Stater Bros. Markets, a 167-store grocery chain in southern California.

Stater Bros. has seen the prices it pays for cereal rise 5% in recent months. The chain has passed about half the increase on to consumers while making up for the rest by trimming other expenses, such as what it spends on cell phones and delivery truck tires.

Kraft Foods Inc., Sara Lee Corp. and General Mills Inc. already have said they’ll raise prices on certain items. Starbucks Corp. backtracked on an August announcement that it would hold coffee prices steady, saying in September it would boost prices of larger and hard-to-make drinks. This week, cereal maker Kellogg hinted that it will be raising prices, without disclosing specifics.

Grocery chains Safeway Inc. and Kroger have said they’ll pass supplier increases along to consumers

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. executives told investors last month that they expect “very moderate” inflation next year. For now, Jack Sinclair, Wal-Mart’s executive vice president of grocery merchandise, said it would be “difficult” to hike retail prices because demand remains weak.

Note the future tense of the predicates: “they’ll raise prices”, “it would boost prices”, “it will be raising prices”, “they’ll pass supplier increases along”. With the exception of one store chain, every merchant discussed in this article is discussing how they are going to pass along the inflationary cost to their customers in future price increases. Most of the retailers, including conservative favorite Wal Mart, have do far resisted raising prices. In other words, the inflation is in the pipeline. As far as your average shopping experience, for the most part, it’s not here yet. This does not jive with Sarah’s assertion that “everyone who ever goes out shopping for groceries knows that prices have risen significantly over the past year or so“.

Remember that the article I originally linked to was titled: “Sarah Palin Shreds WSJ Reporter For Not Being Able To Read His Own Paper”

Shreds?… Really????

With the exception of the rise in fruit and veggie cost. normal for this time of year, I haven’t noticed much inflation in my shopping bills. Which makes me wonder if Todd is the one who does most of the shopping in the Palin household?

She closes thusly:

Now I realize I’m just a former governor and current housewife from Alaska, but even humble folks like me can read the newspaper…

As I’ve demonstrated… No. You can’t.

Conservatives, can you please stop taking her seriously.

PS: Lame-stream reporter Sudeep Reddy responds:

A broad measure of food prices from the Labor Department shows prices rose at an average annual rate of less than 0.6% in the first nine months of the year. September’s increase in food prices — 1.4% for food and beverages at an annual rate — was low by historical standards.(In fact, the lowest average annual inflation rate on record was 1.4%, in 1992.) Commerce Department inflation data show a similarly slow year-over-year increase for food prices, 1.3%.

While some items in the shopping cart have risen in price (ground chuck beef is up 4.8%) and others have decreased (bananas are down 5.3%), overall food price inflation has been historically low for the past year. This is not surprising. Weak demand, high unemployment and thrifty shoppers have led retailers to keep many prices from rising despite the rising cost of some commodities, including coffee and sugar.

The Nov. 4 Wall Street Journal article noted “the tamest year of food pricing in nearly two decades.” It does indeed report that supermarkets and restaurants are facing cost pressures that could push their retail prices higher — but it hasn’t happened yet on a large scale. Critics of the Fed’s quantitative easing policy are focused primarily on concerns about potential future inflation.

In other words… What I said!!! 🙂