While plenty of news and media outlets have attempted to downplay negative economic news over the past year, others have chosen to focus on positive economic indicators.
“Behind Biden’s booming economy,” gushed Jon Skolnik for Salon on January 8, 2022. “The White House is touting a record unemployment rate. But what does that mean in the age of COVID?”
But while low unemployment numbers are better than the alternative, many working-class Americans are still struggling to cover basic expenses and necessities.
“3 Reasons Biden’s Strong Economy Is Unpopular,” by Eric Levitz for the New Yorker this month.
Some media outlets seem determined to explain to the U.S. chattering classes all the reasons why Americans are so concerned about the economy.
“While All Inflation Feels Bad, Housing Inflation Is the Worst,” announced Greg Ip for the Wall Street Journal on November 15, 2023. “For some, unaffordable homes undercut the American dream even more than high gasoline and food prices.”
“Two weeks ago, I asked why Americans were in such a rotten mood when the data said the economy is in such good shape,” began Ip. “The disconnect has only grown since. Inflation, we just learned, eased in October, extending a two-week rally in stocks and bonds. And yet the University of Michigan’s index of consumer sentiment keeps falling.”
“It’s clear readers cared less about inflation dropping, which only meant prices were rising more slowly, than about the fact that the level of prices is painfully high compared with three years ago,” Ip concluded.
“Gasoline and groceries are a big part of your budget, and you buy them every week, so you notice when the price goes up — and stays up,” he noted. “Their prices have also risen especially steeply: 43% and 20%, respectively, since January 2021, versus 15% for the consumer-price index excluding food and energy.”
Political analysts fear that high inflation and inflated costs may erode support for incumbent candidates, including U.S. President Joe Biden, who is seeking reelection in 2024.
“In Arizona, Bad Feelings About the Economy Sour Some Voters on Biden,” Jack Healy broke the bad news for the…