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Which Biden policy made fast food more expensive?

“Welcome to Joe Biden’s America, where Big Mac extra value meals will run you $18. Yes, you read that right: The iconic burger-fries-soda combo, once a staple for Americans of every socioeconomic stripe, now costs almost 20 smackers in some spots. ‘I’m lovin’ it’? Not likely at these prices. The hikes sure look like they come thanks to painful and persistent inflation driven by President Biden’s terrible economic policies. Those have driven prices overall about 15% higher since Biden came in, on essentials like food and energy, they’re up closer to 25%” wrote the New York Post editorial board on October 31, 2023, lamenting something something Bidenomics for the increase in cost for an American staple. No further explanation was given, nor was it required for the “vibe” the pro-Trump editors of the shitty Manhattan rag were trying to push upon their perpetually angry readers.

This was the tweet, already more than three months old at that point, that the Post were milking, of course not mentioning that it was at a rest stop on I-95 in Connecticut, where the franchisees happily gouge travelers wary of taking exits into unfamiliar environs. They’re still milking it, with the most recent mention of the $18 Big Mac in another editorial from two weeks ago. “When a night out at McDonald’s is now a luxury for many Americans, its obvious why President Biden is getting slammed in polls over his handling of the economy,” they wrote. Again they failed to cite any specific policy, they just pushed the “vibe” that it’s his fault a rest stop is gouging customers.

The problem for folks who care about American democracy is that this kind of shit is effective. In fact we’ll just say outright this is more than anything else the reason literally everything hangs in the precipice in the November presidential election – that fat former President Trump’s lead in the polls, if it is in fact real and not the product of some over-correction in the weighting, is because of consumer dissatisfaction with prices. Even as inflation abates and gas prices have long drifted back down to normal-ish, much of the anger is baked in with a lot of voters. This bell cannot be unrung.

But other bells can be rung louder.

You can see these prices for yourself at the pages for the Fulton Street, Lower Manhattan and Broadway, Times Square Taco Bell locations in New York City. That’s, uh… Well it’s an 133 percent markup for the “Build Your Own Cravings Box” and a 60 percent markup for the “Meal for 2” at a distance of 3.57 miles. And it’s completely ass-backwards too, because if anything you’d think that the Times Square location would be the more expensive one owing to the fact that they likely pay in excess of $800,000 a month for the lease at 1,325 square feet in the Paramount Building.

It’s not like Fulton Street’s lease is going to be cheap either but in no universe is that location’s rent cost more than Times Square. We could keep going into the weeds of the Manhattan commercial property market and pondering whether maybe Fulton is franchisee-owned while Times Square is corporate (likely), and that not even the Taco Bell in goddamned Fairbanks, Alaska, one of just two locations north of the Arctic Circle, is charging as much as the one in Lower Manhattan for “Build Your Own Cravings Box” (though confusingly the “Veggie” option is 30 cents more in Fairbanks), but all that’s going to do is distract from that vexing question posed at the top here:

How the fuck is this Joe Biden’s fault? Which one of his policies is responsible for a 130 percent markup in the price of a fast food meal between two different locations that are a 15 minute subway ride apart? How do you draw a straight line from the 46th President to this?

You don’t. If you want Trump to win then you’re fondling yourself going “Uhnnnn… Mmmmm… Oh my God that price, yessssss.” If you’re in the mainstream media and you wouldn’t mind if Trump won you’re writing “Consumers are increasingly likely to take their frustrations out on Biden and Democrats for prices like this. Here’s why Joe Biden may have a tough time with it,” without doing any of the actual fucking work to illustrate why this is bullshit (Watch this piece not “go viral”).

It’s all right in front of us. There’s no need to go into the economics of corporate profits or compile quotes from some overpaid shitbag analysts at Goldman Sachs and their ilk on this subject.

This is what it costs to get a Big Mac Extra Value Meal with large fries and a Dr Pepper delivered in Downtown Brooklyn – before you tip the delivery guy. Pay attention to the subtotal price.

This is what the same item costs from Grubhub, slightly cheaper on fees because for some reason Uber Eats forced a location on the other side of Prospect Park (address edited in the inspector).

And this is what it costs if you just get off your ass and go pick it up:

Right off the bat we’ve got a 20 to 25 percent increase on the same meal’s cost even if you were to simply order via Grubhub or Uber Eats and go pick it up yourself. Does a Big Mac Extra Value meal cost more than it did in 2019? Of goddamned course it does. But that’s true everywhere, especially in the places where certain corporate actors might not be as incentivized to with the dual purpose of padding profits and antagonizing low-info voters to help return a certain political party to power.

There are a lot of additional variables to consider here in the cost of a Big Mac Extra Value meal delivered via Uber Eats to the address of a random pub in a gentrified (we think) neighborhood on the opposite shore and roughly the same distance from London’s financial district as Downtown Brooklyn. We could be off the mark here. If not though, it’s plain that a £12.20 meal before tip ($15.45 USD) is nearly 40 percent cheaper than it is in Brooklyn. The UK’s inflation peaked at 11.1 percent in October 2022 while in the US the high was 8.5 percent in March 2023.

If you think you traded mean tweets for expensive Big Macs then you could trade the Stars and Stripes for the Union Jack. Just know that you’d be getting 1 percent growth in GDP since 2019 compared to 8.2 percent in the US, slightly higher unemployment, and an official recession.

This was some Fox Business News dickweed complaining about spending $28 for lunch at Taco Bell in October 2022, likely exaggerating, outright lying, or – as we theorized at the time – nearly almost accidentally revealing to the audience he had been day drinking there because they sell $9 Modelo drafts. But was he really complaining so much as just trying to fire up the base of dipshits who pretend they’re getting “business news” from Fox’s little sister channel?

The bottom line is the “vibe” of inflation is being exploited and exacerbated by actors in the political, media, and business spheres on top of the actual inflation which, while annoying as shit, does not do anything to explain 100+ percent increases in the prices of fast food items.

Look no further than these numbers and the fact that the twats who would tell you it’s all Biden’s fault cannot and will not do anything to explain which of his policies are the cause of it.

Created by potrace 1.16, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2019

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