Published June 5, 2022
If you’re having trouble grasping why inflation is so politically potent, consider that Americans who enjoyed a Fourth of July cookout on Monday paid 17 percent more for their food than last year, according to a survey from the American Farm Bureau Federation.
That’s a perfect illustration of a poorly understood aspect of inflation: For most Americans, the inflation they actually experience is often much worse than the 8.6 percent headline rate.
Henry Olsen, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, studies and provides commentary on American politics. His work focuses on how America’s political order is being upended by populist challenges, from the left and the right. He also studies populism’s impact in other democracies in the developed world.