As we dog paddle the last lap of the year through the toxic waste lagoon that is America's political and civic discourse, let us just peek our head above the brown water for a moment and breathe in some clean air. Perhaps even haul ourselves out of the muck and touch grass, if you will. Because, thanks to Democratic stimulus bills shepherded by President Joe Biden, the economy is actually in pretty great shape.
Turns out, putting money in the hands of people who will actually spend it actually stimulates the economy. Who knew!
As a recent Bloomberg piece by its former editor Matthew Winkler noted, "Corporate America is booming because the Biden administration's Covid-19 vaccination programs and $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan reduced the jobless rate to 4.2% in November from 6.2% in February, continuing an unprecedented rate of decline during the Covid-19 pandemic."
In plain English, when ordinary people have a little more cash in their pockets and feel like things are moving in the right direction, they buy shit. A lot of shit. Unlike rich people, who take their stupid tax cut and sock it away to make sure their grandchildren will never fly coach. (Or corporations, who buy back their own shares.)
The GOP is still copulating with that chicken, of course.
suboptimalpic.twitter.com/bADD5ct3Bn— Jim Cramer (@Jim Cramer) 1640724287
Yes, you'd have to actually open that picture in a new tab to see that it's an as-yet-unstocked aisle for the Valentine's Day season. Nobody could expect Mr. Cramer to put in that kind of work.
Republicans are screaming bloody murder about Communist Biden ruining the economy, but, as Winkler points out, on metric after metric, that's simply not the case. GDP is ballooning, as the economy recovers from the coronavirus contraction; wages are up, particularly for low-wage workers who need the cash the most; American companies are enjoying a 14 percent profit margin; and the stock market continues to rise.
And yet, Americans remain deeply skeptical about President Biden's handling of the economy, with 56 percent expressing disapproval in a recent poll. In part this is because the stuff we buy every week, i.e. groceries and gas, remain high, as LA Times business columnist Matthew Hiltzik notes. Inflation is real, and it does cut into our purchasing power, for sure.
But also, we're getting one million stories from Fox and the rest of the wingnutosphere screaming gloom and doom. And even supposedly straight news outlets like Politico are broadcasting a constant drumbeat of stories like "Dems' 2022 prospects hit with one-two blow on economy."
Just yesterday they pulled economist Thomas Hoenig out of the mothballs to explain why government intervention to save the economy is bad actually, painting him as a brave truth teller because he resigned his position with the Federal Reserve in 2012 after he objected to Fed Chair Ben Bernanke's monetary policy and the Obama administration's business bailouts. The Obama administration is widely credited with saving the American car industry, and still Politico is sure that this time Hoenig is right, "high unemployment, social instability and potentially years of economic malaise" are right around the corner, and we're headed for 1970s-style double-digit inflation.
Does Politico bear any responsibility for the malaise Americans feel about one of the best economies in a generation?
LOL, they do not. But you don't have to accept the headfake from a media that treats GOP bullshit like it's gospel truth.
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