Biden’s “Shrinkflation” Comment Met with Ridicule

( – Most high school economics textbooks cover the basic consumer economic concept of “shrinkflation.” This refers to a method of cost-cutting often employed by manufacturers to preserve their profits during periods of economic downturn in which they reduce the volume or amount in a consumer good but keep the price the same. This past Superbowl Sunday on February 11, the Biden administration released a video on the social networking platform X to address the current prevalence of the practice.

The move was a strategic attempt to lay the blame of increased grocery prices on the manufacturers and their greed, rather than inflation and Biden’s own economic policies. While the White House has been celebrating how great the economy is doing and how inflation rates have reduced, Americans have continued to complain that the cost of everything, especially groceries, is higher now than it was a few years ago. It is crucial to note that a slowed rate of inflation does not mean stopped or reversed. It just indicates a slower rate, so it is unlikely to actually lower costs.

In the video, directed at Superbowl fans, President Biden talked about the snacks and drinks that are considered celebratory features of any Superbowl gathering. He pointed out that the bottles of sports drinks might be smaller this year, and the bags of potato chips may have fewer chips in them, and yet the prices of those items have not decreased to reflect the fact that there is less product in them. He singled out his favorite treat, ice cream, has also reduced in size but not cost, saying that it made him angry and calling it a “rip off”.

The President ended the video by calling on manufacturers to stop doing this. Social media erupted with outrage, frustration and mocking in response to the video, with many commenters calling it disrespectful. The Biden administration has been frustrated in their attempt to prove to potential voters that the economy is booming, as recent CNN polling shows that only 26% believe their policies have improved the economy. Roughly 55% of those polled believe the economy is still in a downturn, with half citing the cost of living, and 9% pointing to the cost of food specifically.

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