Take a victory lap Mr. President. Another month, another positive monthly jobs report. Last month the US added right around 430,000 jobs, and unemployment ticked down from 3.8% to 3.6%. Even better, a report came out that showed that 90% of the jobs that were lost to the pandemic are back, a feat most economists thought would take 5-7 years. Biden did it in less than 2.
But Biden’s victory lap would be pretty short, because he and his administration aren’t getting the credit for the economic miracle they’ve wrought. Instead, ther news is full of depressing shit about how dire the US domestic economic situation is. And there are two reasons for that.
DNC and DCCC advisor Kurt Bardella told MSNBC today that the allegedly liberal mainstream media is unintentionally killing the Democrats. Because they keep following the shiny object that the GOP throws out down every rabbit hole they throw it into. Kevin McCarthy, or Mitch McConnell come out in front of a microphone and say that Americans are living in sleeping bags on bread lines, nobody can afford gas for their car, and Grandma is eating Alpo, if it isn’t sold out. If Biden had made a claim like that during the 2020 campaign, the GOP would have been on its hind legs, and the media would have fact checked him with a proctoscope. The media needs to start doing more fact checking and research before rushing to print with GOP bullshit.
The second reason is a bit more subtle, but even more important. The GOP is taking great glee in hammering the Biden administration with the fact that inflation is at a painful 7.9%. Which basically means that it’s costing Americans 8% more to buy shit right now than it did a year ago. But when you look at all of the numbers, it turns out that the claim is nothing more or less than the usual GOP bullshit.
First, a little perspective. For the last 30 years leading up to the pandemic, business was in the driver’s seat. In good times, profits, shareholder value and stock buybacks soared, along with corporate bonuses. But employee wages flatlined. There was no reason for employers to raise salaries, since good jobs were hard to find, and going through an extended period without medical benefits by changing jobs was undesirable. If inflation went up, people paid all of the inflation since real wages had not gone up.
But that’s just not true anymore. The national pandemic shutdown gave employees expanded unemployment benefits to survive more comfortably, but also a shit load of time to reconsider their career options. When businesses started to reopen, and employers started recalling employees, they found that the employees weren’t interested in returning to the same shitty pay and benefits packages they left. For the first time in 20 years, it was employees who held the power, and they forced concessions from the companies.
Which leads us to the magic number the Democrats need to exploit. Yes, we created about 430,000 jobs last month, and unemployment dipped to 3.6%. But the GOP is highlighting an inflation rate of 8% to scare the shit out of people. And that just isn’t true. Because the numbers today showed that wages had risen by 5.6%! Which means that people aren’t paying 8% more this year than last year. When you figure in wage growth, people are only paying 2.3% more than last year. But nobody is wired to look at it that way.
That is the secret number the Democrats have to find a messaging way to get across to the American people! No! They’re not paying 7.9% more than they did a year ago, Thanks to Biden’s leadership, and the first real wage growth in 30 years, they’re only paying 2.3% more, and the Biden administration is working like hell to bring that down as well. 2022 could well hinge on how people think things are going economically, and the simple fact is that they’re nowhere near as bad as the GOP is painting. Get the word to the streets guys. Don’t touch that dial.