Friday on FNC’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” host Tucker Carlson reacted to the “bizarre” circumstances of the U.S. economy, including a lackluster jobs report for April that came out on Friday.
Carlson speculated that as the federal government is paying out so-called stimulus benefits, there is a shortage in the labor market, forcing wages to increase. However, he said if that continued to be the case, it would be a net benefit for big companies that can absorb the added cost of paying higher wages.
Transcript as follows:
CARLSON: So what would happen if you gave a group of angry ignorant ideologues, the same people who tell you that all lives don’t matter? What would happen if you gave them the keys to the U.S. economy? We don’t need to guess about that, we are finding out now because all around us, there are signs that under this White House, things are getting dangerously flaky in our economy.
Here’s one example.
The official government jobs numbers came out today. Unemployment is up, far higher than expected. Close to 14 million Americans say they want to work but cannot find a job. That’s an old story. Here’s the new twist.
At the very moment that unemployment is rising, fewer people are working, American businesses say they can’t find employees and it is obvious they can’t, go to the nearest strip mall and count the “Help Wanted” signs on the doors. They’re everywhere.
Restaurants are closing because they can’t find anyone to hire or manufacturing plants. That means American now has far too many workers, but simultaneously, far too few workers. How can that be?
Another question: what happened to all the consumer products? Many of the things that you buy and need to buy are more expensive than they’ve ever been. Inflation is real, it’s galloping. Yet at the same time, a lot of products seem to have gone missing completely.
The United States is currently experiencing shortages of chicken, generators, roofing materials, lumber, ketchup, bicycles, diapers, ammunition, automobiles, plastics, appliances, chlorine, pork, propane tanks, among many other things.
Keep in mind, this is peacetime. We haven’t mobilized for a foreign war. Yet, we’re now getting reports that we should brace for a gas shortage this summer. Why is this all happening? Well, because things are so great in the economy. That’s what they’re telling us on television.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This week, there were more signs that the U.S. economy is roaring back to life and they come as President Biden is proposing trillions of dollars in new government spending.
JILL SCHLESINGER, CBS NEWS BUSINESS ANALYST: It’s really good news, this week, we found out that in the first quarter of this year, the economy expanded at a 6.4 percent annualized rate. That is huge.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Could we see a great economy and a lousy return for the stock market?
KATIE KOCH, GOLDMAN SACHS ASSET MANAGEMENT: I think the good news for everybody is that we’re actually probably going to see both, that we’re going to continue to see a strong economy and we also are set up actually for some great equity market returns here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: There’s an awful lot of lying in financial journalism. No one ever says that, but it is self-evident.
But they are telling us things are great. Why are they telling us that? Well, because the stock market is way, way up. Could it be overvalued? I don’t know. Take a look at those price-to-earnings ratios. Can they continue? Is that reality-based? Should we be worried?
Oh, just relax, but be sure to stock up on gasoline and diapers if you can. We could be looking at Soviet grocery shelves soon.
And whatever you do, keep ignoring the inflation right in front of you. Oil prices, for example, they’ve risen 12 percent in a single month. Steel prices have tripled since last year, chicken breast prices have doubled just since Biden became President.
The price of eggs has increased by almost five percent. Major appliances up almost 15. Ground beef and fresh fruits both up almost six percent. The median sales price of existing-home sales shot up by 16 percent.
And then there’s lumber. Have you noticed lumber? Since last year, the price of dimensional lumber has gone up by almost 300 percent. Want a thousand board feet? That’ll cost you $1,359.00. That price has never been higher.
According to the National Association of Homebuilders, the cost of building materials adds more than $35,000.00 to the price of an average new home. Why is this happening? Well, there’s too much cash in the system. That’s a big reason for it.
When you print too much fake money, the value of that money declines. People start to figure out that it’s not real and you get inflation. That’s always true. No one disputes it.
The White House just doesn’t care. Here’s the new Treasury Secretary telling you not to worry about inflation because it’s not a concern.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JANET YELLEN, U.S. TREASURY SECRETARY: And I think the economy is going to get back on track. I don’t anticipate that inflation is going to be a problem. But it is something that we’re watching very carefully.
I don’t think there’s going to be an inflationary problem.
You know, President Biden has also proposed further substantial spending packages we would love to see enacted into law.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: Oh, so just keep spending trillions of made-up dollars to pay off your political constituencies because there won’t be an inflationary problem. Right. Thanks, genius. How’d you get the job anyway?
They’re hoping you won’t notice you can’t afford anything anymore. You’ll be too distracted by the fact that you don’t have electricity.
“The Sacramento Bee” reported a few days ago that California energy officials quote, ” … can’t promise they’ll be able to keep the lights on this summer.” Oh, no lights in your home. Big deal. Just use candles and dig a pit latrine.
Meanwhile, in Texas, which is supposed to be saying that, they always say they are, “The Dallas Morning News” is telling us that, quote, “inefficient homes” are to blame for the state’s massive power outages this winter. So, it was your fault the power went out. You have the wrong kind of house.
It definitely was not the fault of stupid and corrupt renewable energy schemes, the ones that were forced the entire state to roll in and windmills, which froze when it got cold. No, it wasn’t their fault, it was your fault. Your house did it, so get a better house. Too bad lumber is so expensive.
But the question is, even if you can afford the lumber, who’s going to do the construction? As we said, in the middle of rising unemployment, somehow we don’t have enough workers.
There is, they keep telling us in Washington, a labor shortage and that presumably is why we need to open the borders and let in millions of new foreign workers immediately.
So what is going on here? Probably a lot of things; it is a huge country and a pretty complicated country, but here’s one reason behind what we’re seeing. The government is paying people to stay home. Thanks to Joe Biden’s $2 trillion Coronavirus Relief Bill everything, by the way, done on the justification of the pandemic, some people in this country are getting checks for up to $700.00 a month not to work.
This is true across the country, even in Louisiana, and that’s the state with the lowest weekly unemployment benefits, you can still make almost 500 bucks a week for not working. For a 40-hour workweek that works out to about 12 bucks an hour, a little more actually. That’s above the minimum wage.
In the states with the highest unemployment assistance, you can be making close to $20.00 an hour for not working. And we’re not attacking anyone or calling anyone lazy, it is pretty easy to see why people aren’t working. They’re not nuts. They’re rational.
So no wonder the economy is sputtering in bizarre ways. America created just 266,000 jobs last month, that’s in a nation of 350 million people. Economists, the people who predict these things very often incorrectly were expecting four times that number. The result, the unemployment numbers were so shockingly bad that even CNBC didn’t believe them at first, they had to double-check those numbers on the air.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It looks like 266,000. It looks like it was a big disappointment at 266, but maybe I have that wrong. Let me double-check the bureau website here. One second. Yes, 266 is correct. Unemployment change, a little change, it is 6.1 percent.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: So there’s not, to restate, an actual shortage of American workers, citizens who could fill jobs. They’re just telling you that so they can justify opening the borders and changing the electorate, so they never lose another election, and no one ever takes their power away.
But that’s not true. What is true once again, is that the government is paying people more not to work than to work, and so why would they work? Would you?
The question is, what do you do if you’re an employer and at some point when we devalue the currency so completely that printing more dollars won’t help, we are going to need actual employers in this country, and what do they do?
Well, a reporter called Nate Doughty, at The Pittsburgh Business Times looked into this question. He talked to businesses around Pittsburgh that had managed to hire people. How do they do it? What was their secret? Well, they just had to double the wages.
A place called Klavon’s Ice Cream Parlor had been around since 1923, hiked it starting wage from $7.25 to 15 bucks an hour. They more than doubled it; a nearby Sports Bar now guarantees waiters and bartenders 20 bucks an hour. That’s happening in a ton of places around the country.
And big companies, needless to say, could compete more effectively because they have more money.
A Burger King in Washington, Pennsylvania is offering a $1,500 bonus to new workers. A McDonald’s in Florida is giving people 50 bucks just for showing up to a job interview. A company called Sisu Energy in Texas is offering new truck drivers $14,000 a week.
Walmart, the largest private employer in the United States has raised wages for nearly half a million employees in February. The company’s average wages now over 15 bucks an hour.
In some ways, that is good news. You want to see people make more. Of course, you want dollars to be worth more and now they’re worth less.
But there are effects of this that we could be living with for a long time. There are millions of small businesses that cannot afford to compete, they’re not Walmart, and many of them will go under, because of the pressure applied by the U.S. government on the labor market.
And when those small businesses do go under, what will be left? Amazon.
Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor