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Searching for Answers

Inflation and crime. Did anyone think we’d make it through several years of a worldwide pandemic and the resulting economic shutdown without repercussions? If COVID is why we are where we are, moving forward, perhaps the questions we should be asking are: what’s been done to recover from these problems? Are the measures working? And who has the best plans to continue our recovery?

Let’s start with inflation. The GOP candidates running for office say inflation has been caused by Dem’s “overspending” on measures to jumpstart our stalled economy. Huh? How can that be true when inflation is happening all over the world? It’s certainly not just a problem here.

The facts are, beginning with the rapid roll-out of vaccines and continuing with economic investments made primarily by Dems, like the infrastructure bill and the American Rescue Plan, the US has led the entire world in recovering from the pandemic. We’ve experienced the strongest economic growth in years, with record job and wage growth and historic reductions in the unemployment and child poverty rates. At the same time, by the end of this year, it’s estimated that we will have reduced our national deficit by more than a trillion dollars. But this extraordinary job and wage growth, along with the money saved by many during the pandemic, may have helped drive inflation. With more money in their pockets, many people have been able to pay higher prices for goods and services jacked up by supply chain issues, transportation shortages, and price gouging by greedy corporations posting record profits (we see you, oil companies!). The reasons for inflation are complex, and any politician who tells you otherwise is being disingenuous–or needs to attend an economics class. At the very least, those politicians need to read this explanation from Forbes:

But Dems responded to these new challenges, quickly passing historic legislation to lower costs for families, including attacking student loan and farm debt, healthcare and energy costs, and lowering the price for prescription drugs like insulin. They passed legislation making the most significant investment in manufacturing and research and development in history. These measures accelerating clean energy manufacturing have already begun to pay off, with companies announcing new manufacturing facilities to be built across the country, with more good-paying jobs on the way. As a result, the U.S. is now positioned at the forefront of the worldwide clean energy revolution. (Take that, China!)

Of course, more needs to be done. Bouncing back from a years-long worldwide crisis isn’t going to happen overnight. Do you know each party’s plan for continuing to move us forward? The GOP’s response is to push back many of these achievements. For instance, they recently introduced legislation to roll back the drug pricing reforms included in the Inflation Reduction Act, such as allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices and capping annual drug expenses for many seniors. Not only is that simply cruel to the elderly, how does it make any sense?

Let’s talk about crime. When the entire world shut down, people lost more than jobs. Many lost hope. Millions died, leaving behind loved ones. Homelessness and hunger increased. The cracks in our society, like racism and our vastly underfunded educational system, widened and became fully visible. And the truth is: hurt people hurt people. No one should be surprised that, as a result, crime increased. And not only in Democratic-run cities, as the GOP would like you to believe. In fact, murders rose roughly equally in cities run by Republicans and cities run by Democrats. So-called “red” states actually saw some of the highest murder rates of all. Despite recent GOP campaign ads, no one wants criminals roaming the streets, creating chaos. Including Dems.

So, what should we do about crime? The GOP says the solutions are simple: give more people more guns so they can protect themselves. Lock up more bad guys. But the US already has the highest rate of gun ownership in the world. We also lead the developed world in the number of people we incarcerate. Didn’t Einstein say the definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over again and expecting a different result?

Dems think there’s a better way, like making it harder for bad guys and mentally ill people to get guns in the first place. And they propose continuing our successful economic recovery by creating even more jobs with family-sustaining wages so that we have fewer hurt people who want to hurt people. Dems want to invest in education so that our kids are better prepared to become productive members of society, and are thus less likely to turn to crime in the first place.

It’s clear who’s been successfully addressing inflation and crime at the federal level. In Wisconsin during the pandemic, Governor Evers invested more than a billion dollars in small businesses, the economic engine of our state. His administration also renegotiated Wisconsin’s previous billion-dollar investment in the FoxConn debacle, that epic “economic development” failure (brought to us by the Walker administration and his GOP-controlled legislature) that has cost taxpayers here millions. As for crime, Evers has invested more than $100 million in crime reduction efforts in our state. Look, Dems in the WI legislature have been hamstrung by Republicans who won’t even hold hearings on Dem bills, even if the bills help Wisconsinites. So Ever’s gubernatorial efforts, which are making a real difference, are significant. Republican legislators here have failed to show up for work for months and vowed to do whatever they can to see Evers fail at every turn. And yet, our governor has found a way to actually do something about these very real problems.

Inflation and crime. Issues that are important to all of us. If you’re worried about them, think about what actually caused them in the first place. Think about what’s been done so far on each of these issues and whether the measures are working. Think about who’s led the way, and who’s been sitting on the sidelines, refusing to support legislation and solutions that are making a real difference in our lives. Think about who will continue to dig us out of the lasting effects of a worldwide pandemic with measures that actually work.

And then, vote.

Photo by Leeloo Thefirst at


  1. May your good thinking become good voting
    Thanks, Jill 🗳

    • For the health and well-being of our democracy, I would hope we’d all be in favor of good thinking=good voting. Thanks for reading and commenting, Cheryl!

  2. Your analysis so smart and sensible- you are another HCR~

    • This is me, blushing furiously, shaking my head. But I am smiling…thanks, Christy. Takes one to know one!

  3. Jill, Thank you for your clarity and your ability to provide facts without needing to engage in dehumanizing the “other”. Sheer gift!

    • Thank you, friend, for taking the time to read and comment. I appreciate you.

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