Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey created shock waves when he tweeted out on Friday a dire prediction for the US economy: “Hyperinflation is going to change everything,” he commented, adding that “it’s happening.”
Hyperinflation is when the price of goods and services increases uncontrollably for a sustained period of time. Almost all hyperinflations have been caused by government budget deficits financed by currency creation. Technically, hyperinflation has to meet a high bar: an inflationary rate of 1,000% or more per year, according to most economists.
In a follow-up tweet, Dorsey raised ire by doubling down, predicting that an inflation rate of 16% was possible in the U.S. and globally. With a personal fortune estimated at over $14 billion, Dorsey is probably not worried about paying his bills.
But rising prices are being felt by the average American, many of whom were forced to miss work due to government shutdowns of businesses. But returning to work will not be easy. Fox News reported that the price of gasoline has risen “for 22 straight days”. With winter kicking in, propane prices are expected to rise drastically with shortages predicted. As the Christmas shopping season begins, some retailers are pricing toys at nearly 400 percent of their normal level. House prices are up 23% in just one year. Used car prices are up 45%. Farmers say even the cost of a bale of hay has risen 20% in the last twelve months.
Dorsey’s prediction stems from a recent wave of inflation. The U.S. Federal Reserve System (FRS) says an annual inflation rate of 2% is “most consistent with the Federal Reserve’s mandate for maximum employment and price stability. The inflation rate in the United States in 2019 was 1.81%. The projected rate for 2021 is 2.24%.
In July, the Biden administration insisted that the inflation was temporary and not the result of exorbitant government spending that was justified as necessary to recover from the pandemic shutdowns. But on Friday, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell admitted in an interview with CNN that increased inflation could run “well into next year.” After months of denying that rising prices were due to inflation, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said she expects inflation to fall to acceptable levels in the second half of 2022.
Printing money in this manner devalues the dollar, raising the prices of imported goods including oil.
To make matters worse, the current rising prices come amid disruptions to the supply chain, which keep prices rising higher. A lack of truck drivers as well as disruptions at ports in California are leaving ships waiting offshore. Two weeks ago, the White House addressed the issue. Blaming the disruptions on COVID shutdowns in other countries, the Biden administration met with union leaders and port officials, leading to an announcement they will be moving towards 24/7 operations at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach where 40% of imported goods in shipping containers enter the US.
And to make matters even worse than that, the US is experiencing high unemployment. Despite recovering from a high of 14.7% in April, in June, the unemployment rate stood at 5.9%. This compares to the prep-COVID unemployment of 3.5% from last February. This is exacerbated by the current government paying people to stay home. Many small businesses are feeling the pinch as government checks make it unattractive for minimum wage workers to return to work.
A section of the Talmud (Sanhedrin 97a) describes several signs that will indicate the “son of David” (i.e. the Messiah) is imminent. Many of the pre-Redemption conditions seem to be remarkably similar to the current state of the world but one, in particular, seems to describe current events:
“The vine will produce its fruit, and nevertheless, the wine will be costly.”
Later in that section of the Talmud, another economic precursor to the messiah is described:
“The Messiah will not come until the peruta (the smallest denomination of money) will cease from the purse.”
Rabbi Yoel Schwartz, head of the Sanhedrin’s Noahide Court and of the Dvar Yerushalayim Yeshiva, referred to this section of the Talmud when commenting on the current state of the global economy.
“Before the Messiah, God wants us to return to living normal lives,” Rabbi Schwartz said in a video. The rabbi noted that many luxuries, such as automobiles that entice the driver to drive at dangerous speeds, do not actually enhance the owner’s lives but actually damage them.
“This level of wealth is nothing less a form of insanity,” Rabbi Schwartz said. “Wealth, which is a blessing and should be treated as such, has turned into a crime and mental illness.”
“Even people who do not have much wealth have been convinced that they must use their last penny to buy luxuries. Rather than mend clothing, they buy new clothes that are in fashion and with the right designer label. How often have you seen someone say they are poor when they are walking around with an expensive cell phone in their pocket?”
Rabbi Yosef Berger, the rabbi of King David’s Tomb on Mount Zion,
“People who live on credit are literally living their lives without a pruta in their purse,” Rabbi Berger noted. “They are living on the belief that money will come tomorrow.”
Rabbi Berger emphasized that living on credit is what the Bible meant when it said:
“My own power and the might of my own hand have won this wealth for me.” Deuteronomy 8:17
“What they are forgetting, and what the days before Messiah will remind them is:
‘Silver is Mine and gold is Mine—says the lord of Hosts’ (Hagai 2:8),”
“America puts the phrase, ‘In God we trust’ on their money but when it comes to money, they don’t really believe that,” Rabbi Berger said. “Before the Messiah, Hashem will make people remember everything they forgot. Believing they have money in their pockets when they don’t, has made too many people forget God. This is about to change. When they discover that they really don’t have any money, they will suddenly remember to cry out to God.”