A ‘world of hurt’ headed for consumers if Biden doesn’t act soon, fmr. Walmart CEO warns

Despite President Joe Biden’s projected optimism on his economic performance, experts have painted a different picture suggesting “a world of hurt” is incoming if something isn’t done about the one problem impacting “100 percent of the population.”

(Video: Fox News)

Former Walmart CEO Bill Simon joined “Fox & Friends Weekend” co-host Will Cain on Sunday to discuss the reality of the current economic outlooks as major companies have undergone massive layoffs, closed locations, and cut hours to cope with Biden’s America.

“It’s crazy right now,” he told Cain after asking what the big takeaway was for the economy at large. “We’re stuck in this loop of, you know, wage inflation, product inflation, cost inflation, and it’s just that cycle keeps going. And I think, unfortunately, an inevitable byproduct of some of the Fed moves and the necessary medicine we have to take to kind of cool things down and get the inflation back under control are some of these layoffs that are coming.”

Simon boiled the problem down to inflation and stated, “I think the most critical thing that’s going to happen in ’23 is we have to get this inflation under control. Another year of high single-digit, low double-digit inflation, and we’re going to be in a world of hurt because inflation hurts 100 percent of the population. A recession might hurt, you know, two to three percent that have lost their job or GDP declines. We gotta get inflation under control.”

However, the president remained adamant over the weekend that his “economic plan is working, folks.”

In a social media post, Biden touted the “Lowest annual inflation in over a year” to spin his steering of the economy into the highest inflation there’s been in 40 years, boasted the “lowest unemployment rate in 50 years” without acknowledging the wide swaths of the population that have left the labor market and stopped looking for work, and bragged that “Wages are higher than they were 7 months ago” though they still fall short of paying for goods thanks to inflation.

During their conversation, Cain suggested that unemployment was a necessary factor to get inflation under control and, with only 223,000 jobs added in December, the lowest amount during Biden’s administration, officials from the Federal Reserve have projected unemployment to jump from 3.5 percent to 4.6 percent by the end of the year.

In response, Simon explained, “Theoretically, yeah, I agree with you, Will. But the problem is, at the same time, there’s this wage inflation that’s going on. For example, last week, Walmart announced they’re raising their minimum wage, their starting wage to $14 an hour. That’s a 17 percent increase…food costs have gone up 23 percent in the last two years. So now, wages have gone up 17 percent at Walmart, 25 percent at Delta for pilots, 25 percent for the rail industry. And wage increases like that sort of counteract the employment layoffs that we’re starting to see. And so there’s a lot going on.”

The former CEO also pointed out the complex nature of solving America’s economic woes as he roped in Biden’s border crisis.

“Immigration is a problem too. We need workers, but we need workers we can employ that are in the country legally,” he said. “What’s happening now is you’re letting people in that can’t participate in the workforce but do increase demand. So, you have increased demand driving prices up without the workforce to be able to service it. So, it’s a complicated factor. Certain inputs are trying to solve inflation, but you have counteracting forces that kind of mess that up.”

Kevin Haggerty

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