Polls suggest that most Americans think the economy is in bad shape, a tide of pessimism which may hurt President Joe Biden’s re-election bid. But is there any truth to that?
To assess how well-off a country is, economists typically consider various indicators, including GDP growth, employment rates, inflation, income distribution, and others.
Thankfully, the website Data Commons has gone through the trouble of crunching all the numbers from impeccable data sources like the US Census Bureau or the Worldbank and has released them in the form of graphics that, conceivably, even a brain-dead Maganite should be able to understand.
Gross Domestic Product – the standard measure of the value added created through the production of goods and services in a country during a certain period? Soaring! Market Capitalization? At an all-time high! Median income? $35K, up from 26K when Biden took over- a plus of 40 points! Poverty rate? Slowly going down! Unemployment? Lower than it’s been since the 1950ies.
So what is everybody whining about! They should be dancing in the streets, cheering their hearts out and wanting to elect anyone but Donald Trump into the highest office in the land because of what a damned great job Joe Biden and the Democrats are doing.
Alas, most US citizens simply don’t know how good they’ve got it. Talk about American ignorance!
Paul Krugman, possible the world’s best economist and winner of the Nobelprize, refently asked, „How can people claim that Trump presided over a great economy when he was the first president since Herbert Hoover to leave the White House with fewer Americans employed than when he arrived?
His answer is, mainly, that Trumpists want us to give him a mulligan for 2020, when the economy was devastated by Covid-19. Strangely, though, they don’t want to give Biden a similar mulligan for 2021-22, when lingering disruptions from the pandemic played a large role in inflation. Those disruptions finally eased in 2023, leading to last year’s “immaculate disinflation.”
Yet Trumpists don’t want to forget 2020 entirely. They still talk about how gasoline cost less than $2 a gallon, which was true for only two months in 2020 — months when the unemployment rate was over 13 percent. Funny how that works.
Of course, the Biden administration is making a dog’s breakfast out of getting these facts out to the public, while the Republicans are lying through their teeth because they want Americans to feel miserable. And they’re doing them the favor. So don’t keep your fingers crossed come November.