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Froma Harrop: The Biden economy is doing well | Editorial columnists

When Joe Biden takes office, there will be “a depression like you’ve never seen it before,” warned Donald Trump a month before he lost his 2020 presidential election. It didn’t h -pen.

Plus, your 401 (k) certainly didn’t “go to hell” as the previous guy predicted. On the contrary, stocks in the S&P 500 are up 26% as the first year of the Biden presidency comes to an end.

How good is that “US financial markets outperform the world by the greatest margin in the 21st century,” said Bloomberg News.

According to economists, the US gross domestic product is expected to have grown by an extraordinary 5.6% this year. And adjusted for inflation.

The unemployment rate has fallen to 4.2%. Retail sales rose 8% year over year in the final Christmas shopping season – the largest increase in 17 years.

Bloomberg summed it up: “America’s economy has improved more in Joe Biden’s first 12 months than any president in the past 50 years.”

And how do we explain Biden’s lackluster  -proval ratings, strangely depressed by dissatisfaction with how he runs the economy? Reasons include skewed media coverage of the economy, Republican opposition who refuse to give Democrats credit, and Democrats refusing to give themselves credit (for purely neurotic reasons).

Today, as always, there are economic concerns. Inflation has cut the good news of fatter paychecks for American workers. However, the bubbling retail numbers suggest that consumers have the means to spend and are h -py to do so. Consumer credit up 27% in Biden’s first year reflects public confidence in the future.

The blockages in the supply chain seem to be loosening, as the fake news of empty store shelves shows this shopping season. The difficulty of shipping parts and products from Asia has sparked interest in bringing manufacturing back to that country, and that’s a good thing.

The biggest driver of inflation, the oil price, could well fall. “The urgently needed relief for tense markets is on the way,” said the International Energy Agency. The simple reason is the increasing oil production. Biden’s planned release of 50 million barrels of oil from the US strategic reserves helped, with similar steps being taken in other countries.

Why Democrats wouldn’t shout hosannas for this fundamentally strong economy has long been a mystery. One explanation is that some of the loudest voices in the party, especially on the left, have a complaint culture. The left are angry at what is not being done for the poor and ignoring what is being done.

They berated West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin for blocking passage of the current Build Back Better plan, even though it was them who screwed him up. However, all hope is not lost. Democrats can shorten their wish list with overweight and avoid such cheesy tricks as financing the child allowance for just one year. Manchin is right.

The programs that need to be saved the most are universal preschool, strengthening the Affordable Care Act, and combating climate change. A plan costs $ 1.8. Trillions – a number Manchin has reportedly said he would consider – would still be bold by any previous definition of the word.

Stock market gains benefit the better-off, but many average people have some skin in the game. Sweden has more billionaires per c -ita than we do and dreams of a social safety net.

There is nothing wrong with prosperity. “H -py Days Are Here Again” was Franklin D. Roosevelt’s campaign song – just before he started the New Deal.

Froma Harrop writes about politics and culture.

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