Joe Biden Is A Successful President, The Country Is Better Off (Corrected Link)

Watch my new presentation on the 2024 election. Together let’s make June count! 

JUN 8

Hopium Top Lines For The Weekend – For your reading, listening, and viewing pleasure: 

“Economy added 272,000 jobs in May, surging past expectations” – Here’s how this new Washington Post story opens

Employers added 272,000 jobs in May, reflecting a booming labor market that continues to fuel the economy with workers benefiting from wages that are outpacing inflation.

But the unemployment rate ticked up to 4 percent, ending a 27-month stretch of historically low unemployment — the longest in 50 years.

Job creation accelerated from the previous month, rising above the average monthly level of growth so far this year, which was already strong, after a period of cooling for part of 2023.

“The American middle class is seeing their economic standing improved. The strong wages and improving living standards are the main takeaway from this very strong jobs report,” said Joe Brusuelas, chief economist for the accounting firm RSM US.

Average hourly wage growth accelerated sharply in May, to $34.91, up 4.1 percent from the previous year. Wages have consistently beaten inflation for nearly a year, boosting American workers’ standard of living after years of wages falling behind inflation.

In a new milestone, 78 percent of women ages 25 to 54 had or were looking for jobs — the highest level since record keeping started in the 1950s. Higher wages and plentiful opportunities have enticed women into the workforce after the child-care crisis of the coronavirus pandemic pulled them onto the sidelines. Indeed, some of the largest job gains happened in sectors that tend to employ more women, including health care, government, and leisure and hospitality.

“The labor market remains tight, and firms have to compete and offer higher wages to attract and retain workers,” Brusuelas said. “If someone loses a job, they’re finding one in three months. This really is the best labor market since the 1950s.”

The strength of the May jobs report surprised economists, because economic growth and consumer spending have lately shown signs of slowing, partly weighed down by higher borrowing costs, according to recent federal data. It also marked the 41st consecutive month of job gains, going back to January 2021.

That’s good news for President Biden, who on the campaign trail has been making the case that his economy has reinvigorated the middle class. In a statement Friday, Biden said May’s jobs numbers indicate that “the great American comeback continues,” boasting that under his presidency, “15.6 million more Americans have the dignity and respect that comes with a job.” He also noted that “more progress” needs to be made, in a nod to gloomier consumer sentiment about inflation that could cost him at the polls.

The remarkable run of good economic news continues. America is clearly better off today due to Joe Biden’s ambitious and successful Presidency. As I wrote a few days ago: 

In the last few weeks we’ve gotten repeated confirmation of the success of the Biden Presidency – inflation is down, food prices are down, crime and murder rates are way down, gas prices are down, the flow to the border is down. We’ve had the strongest economic recovery of any advanced economy in the world, the best job market since the 1960s, the lowest uninsured rate in American history, the deficit is trillions less, the Dow has broken 40,000 and all three indices continue hover in record terrirtory, and domestic oil, gas and renewable production continue to be at all time highs leaving America more energy independent than it has been in decades. Consumer sentiment surged last month. The Wall Street Journal called the American economy the “envy of the world,” and the Economist just wrote about the unprecedented start up boom America is experiencing right now. Biden’s big three investment bills have dramatically accelerated the energy transition necessary to combat climate change and will be creating opportunities and jobs for our workers for decades to come.

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Let’s get to our monthly Hopium deep dive on the jobs and economic data. We start with our jobs tracker: 

  • 33.8m jobs = 16 years Clinton, Obama
  • 15.6m jobs = 40 months of Biden
  • 1.9m jobs = 16 years of Bush, Bush, Trump

Biden’s 15.6m jobs are 8 times as many jobs as were created in the 16 years of the last 3 Republican Presidencies, combined.  Since 1989 and the end of the Cold War, the US has seen 51 million new jobs created. 49 million of those 51 million jobs – 96% – have been created under Democratic Presidents. Just 2 million jobs – 4% – have been created under Republicans. 

In the last 30+ years, there has been one and only one American political party good at this capitalism thing and it sure isn’t the party of Trump. 

The ongoing failure of Republican policies to create growth and opportunity for American workers is perhaps best seen in the following graph. Over the past 3 Republican Presidents, the economy has created 10,000 jobs a month. The rate of job creation under Biden has been 40 times what it was under those last 3 GOP Presidents. To repeat – Republicans created on average just 10,000 jobs a month over 16 years. Last month’s 272,000 jobs would be 27 months (2 years/3 months) of GOP job growth in a single month. 

What this data tells us is that since this new age of globalization began in 1989, a modern and forward-looking Democratic Party has repeatedly seen strong economic growth on its watch.  Republican Presidents, on the other hand, have overseen three consecutive recessions – the last two, severe. The contrast in performance here is very stark. It is not a stretch to state that the GOP’s economic track record over the past 30+ years has been among the worst in the history of the United States.

Despite enormous challenges – COVID, insurrection, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, global inflation, repeated OPEC price hikes, war in the Middle East – the performance of the American economy over Biden’s Presidency has been remarkable. GDP growth has been over 3% for 3 years now, our recovery from COVID has been the strongest in the G7, the stock market has set records this year, wage growth remains very strong and outpacing inflation, inflation is lower here than in any other G7 nation, and we have the lowest uninsured rate in history. Things were hard in recent years, but they are much better now. We are getting there, together, and all this gives Joe Biden a very strong case for re-election. 

Let’s drill down on Biden’s economic record a bit: 

  • Best economic recovery from COVID in the G7, WSJ calls the US economy right now “the envy of the world.” 
  • GDP growth has averaged over 3% in Biden’s Presidency, 3 times higher than Trump averaged per year
  • Lowest unemployment rate in a peacetime economy since WWII, jobs more plentiful today than at any time since the 1960s. 8 times as many Biden jobs in 40 months as last 3 GOP Presidents combined over 16 years. Overwhelming majority of Americans have never experienced a job market this robust and strong
  • Inflation has fallen, dramatically, and prices of many goods, including many food items, continue to fall
  • Very elevated wage gainsnew business starts and prime-age worker participation rates
  • Lowest uninsured rate in history, ACA signups this past year highest ever
  • The annual deficit is trillions of dollars lower today than it was when Trump was in the White House
  • Median wealth up 37% from 2020-2022; median wealth for 18-34 year olds in this period more than doubled
  • The Biden Administration has erased more than $130b in student debt
  • Homeownership rates for Gen Z were above both Millennials and Gen X at this point in their lives 
  • Many cities and states have raised the minimum wage in recent years, creating a much higher income floor for young and low-wage workers
  • Domestic oil production set records in 2023, and we are setting records with renewable energy production too. America is more energy-independent than it has been in decades
  • Biden’s ambitious investment agenda will create growth, innovation, and opportunities for American workers for decades to come, and is already dramatically accelerating our energy transition from carbon-based fuels

As this topic comes up a lot in our discussions, I want to focus a bit on homeownership rates for Gen Z. Here’s a recent report from Redfin: 

While the homeownership rate for adult Gen Zers has stagnated, a majority of them are still outpacing young people of the past.

The homeownership rates for 19-to-25-year-old Gen Zers are higher than the homeownership rates were for millennials and Gen Xers when they were the same age. For example, the rate for 24-year-old Gen Zers is 27.8%, compared with 24.5% for millennials when they were 24 and 23.5% of Gen Xers when they were 24.

This is likely because many Gen Z homeowners bought during the pandemic, when mortgage rates hit a record low. When many millennials were in their early twenties, many were struggling to find work due to the Great Recession, which made it harder to afford a home. And when Gen Xers were in their early twenties, they were grappling with some of the highest mortgage rates in history; for example, rates were around 11% in 1989, when the oldest Gen Xers were 24.

The bottom line – Democratic policies have repeatedly been able to make globalization work for the American people in this new and challenging age.  GOP policies have repeatedly failed to deliver, as a national party Republicans have repeatedly failed to do their part.  

It is a core belief here that the current radicalization of the GOP is intimately linked to its repeated failure to handle the challenges of the post-Cold War era.  The rigid ideological approach of the modern GOP has left it unable to govern in a time of rapid change; and those repeated failures have left many Republicans angry, reactionary, and willing to do the unthinkable to stay in or regain power.  The modern GOP has no answers for many of the most important challenges America faces today, and rather than modernizing, and adapting, as all institutions must in a time of change, the GOP has decided to fight the future by trying to rig the system to remain in power while the country and its people drift from their narrow grasp. 

This argument – about the success Democrats have achieved through modernization, and the failures of the GOP for their refusal to do so – is at the very core of my most important presentation, With Democrats, Things Get Better.  I just recorded a new version with fresh data and insights. You can find it here

Finally, I believe our overarching message priority this year is to win the big economic argument with Trump and get into positive territory on the economy. I talk about why this is so important in a short take video. Given this strong track record going all the back to 1989 we shouldn’t be losing the economic debate to these guys. One of our most important info goals this year to work together to establish this basic contrast: 

Dems = growth, lower deficits, progress for workers and families

Rs = recession, higher deficits, American decline

As I recently posted here, the conversation about the economy in the US remains very red wavy – it is full of false right-wing narratives that are distorting our understanding of what’s happening here in our own country. The bottom line is that our economy is historically strong. Joe Biden has been a very good President. The country is much better off today. And there’s a great deal of data to suggest that Americans are not as down on the economy and Biden as conventional wisdom holds. Look at this recent data from the key battlegrounds. People there understand how much better things are for them where they live. We should be able to connect this understanding to Joe Biden’s Presidency in the coming months, particularly with the help of Dem govs and leaders in these states. 

I am proud of our country, our President, and our Party. We need to be very loud in the coming months about all the good we’ve done. Our ability to win in November may very well depend on how successful we are in fighting this economic red wave and helping Americans come to a better understanding of how successful we and America have been, together. 

Keep working hard everyone. Proud to be in this fight with all of you – Simon

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