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Tag: Chris Hayes

According to President Biden, Everyone is Doing Better Economically


President Joe Biden is on the campaign trail today. He wants prospective voters to know that EVERYONE is doing better economically thanks to Bidenomics. As I write this post, I am watching MSNBC. Both Chris Hayes and Alex Wagner want voters to understand that they are doing well economically, even if it doesn’t “feel” like it. According to Hayes, Wagner, and a host of Biden apologists, the numbers don’t lie: unemployment is down, wages are up, and inflation declining. In their minds, these macro numbers prove that Biden’s economic policies work. Americans are better off, even if they don’t feel they are.

Here’s the problem with this kind of thinking: Americans live in a micro world, not a macro one. The macro numbers parroted by Biden and his defenders do not represent what is actually taking place on the ground in what MSNBC often derisively calls “flyover land” — the Midwest — you know where all those MAGA people live. Biden touts new jobs, yet fails to explain how total employment is static. No one bothers to question how accurate unemployment numbers are. Only people who are drawing unemployment are counted as unemployed. People no longer or unable to seek employment are not counted. Nary a word is said about what percentage of American jobs pay a living wage. Nothing is said about those who are working part-time jobs because they can’t find well-paying full-time jobs. The same can be said for the inflation rate. This rate is always quoted in insolation of what has taken place in the past. Rarely, do Americans recover purchasing power lost. Wage increases never seem to outstrip inflation.

Here’s what I know. In the past two years, our utility bills, insurance, and groceries have all done up — often dramatically. Our medical costs are a runaway freight train. Housing costs are up. Interest rates are up. Real estate taxes are up. Entertainment costs are up. (But, Bruce, gas prices are down! Yea, Team Biden, right?) These expenses have, for the most part, outstripped inflation. Wages are flat, unable to keep up with rising prices. If an employer raises wages 3% every year, it will take workers more than five years to regain the purchasing power lost in 2021-2022 alone. All is NOT well for Midwestern working-class people. Biden and defenders telling us that it is “all in our heads” does not reflect how life really is for us. And until Biden understands this and changes his tune, he can expect to continue to alienate voters. Biden, along with his cheerleaders at MSNBC need to personally come to the Midwest and actually talk to working-class people. To quote Fox Mulder, “the truth is out there.”

Of course, Biden will ignore people like me, as will Chris Hayes, Joy Reid, and Alex Wagner. I just don’t understand “economics.” I am just an uneducated country bumpkin. Maybe, but here’s what I know: my wife and I have less discretionary income than we had two years ago, our expenses are outstripping inflation, our wages are in decline (when adjusted for inflation), our debt is increasing, and medical costs are out of control. Worse, my wife’s employer laid off workers and she has been on a reduced schedule since October. The promised raise never materialized, and when one does eventually materialize it will likely be 25-40 cents. In the meantime, the company raised insurance premiums, stopped 401K contributions, and is hanging on for dear life. So much for the awesomeness of Biden’s economy.

But, Bruce, the macro numbers say _________________. Sorry, but we live in a micro world — a world where bank balances matter, not labor statistics. And if Biden can’t or won’t understand this, he shouldn’t be surprised when he loses the 2024 presidential election. Unlike the talking heads at MSNBC, I actually have my finger on the pulse of Midwestern workers. They are my spouse, children, grandchildren, friends, and neighbors. I understand their questions and fears. I listen to them talk while in line at the grocery, sitting in stands for a basketball game, or having dinner at a local restaurant. I hear their worries and concerns. One thing is clear, Biden and the Democrats are clueless about what Midwestern people think, and what it is that drives their fears. (And Republicans are no better.)

Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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Bruce Gerencser