The invisible 'Biden boom'

The invisible 'Biden boom'
Image via the White House.
AlterNet Exclusives

When it comes to the United States economy, well, what can I say? I got nothing. I can read, though, and economists say things about economic things that I can read, including Friday’s jobs report. Here’s what Justin Wolfers, University of Michigan professor of economics, said about it:

These revisions suggest payrolls growth has been quite a bit stronger than we realized throughout 2022 and the economy was really motoring along. This is a final nail in the coffin of all the 2022 recessionistas. When average job growth is this high, we call it a BOOM.

Wolfers tweeted this along with a huge table of numbers. Lots of numbers. So many numbers. I don’t know what they mean. I told you. I’m no economist. But if someone like Justin Wolfers, who knows what he’s talking about, says the economy is booming, then, well, who am I to say he’s wrong? BOOM:

Non-farm payrolls added a cracking 517,000 jobs in January, well above market expectations of more than 190,000. This is a breathtaking number. That spike in stories about layoffs? It was about a small unrepresentative slice of the economy. Real America is still getting back to work.

If you’re like me, and you can read about economics, but don’t know much about economics, which means we’re like pretty much every other normal person in the United States, this boom news is good news but also, well, news. Why aren’t newspeople talking about it. They’re newspeople, right?

READ MORE: Not Barack Obama's White House: Why Republicans no longer get the benefit of the doubt

What they are talking about is recession.

Recession! Recession!


Why are they talking about a recession when the economy is booming, has been booming and will be booming if the likes of Professor of Economics Justin Wolfers are right, and why would they be wrong, is what I’m saying, knowing they know what they’re talking about, and, you know, I don’t?

READ MORE: 'If it were Matt Gaetz': Florida Congressman floats cutting SNAP

I do know something about news, though, and here it is: the owners of the country’s most lucrative media properties have more in common with the beneficiaries of the status quo than they do with you on account of their being superlative examples of those who benefit from the status quo.

Point is, the beneficiaries dislike inflation. It makes their planetary fortunes worth less. It makes wages paid to normal people, like you, worth more, which makes their planetary fortunes worth less. Inflation is an economic force, according to the economic thinkers whom I can read, that threatens, if unaddressed, to turn the status quo upside down. And that just won’t do.

So the newspeople, whose salaries are proportional to the levels of entitlement emotionally experienced by the owners of the country’s most lucrative media properties, spend a lot of time talking about prices prices, not wages wages, because it’s better for the beneficiaries of the status quo to maximize attention to the rising cost of eggs, say, but to minimize attention to the rising cost of labor: ie, normal people getting paid more.

If normal people understood the price of eggs is going up along with the price of labor, that could be bad for the beneficiaries of the status quo, because normal people might say see that government spending on the economy in order to create more jobs with better wages is worth it, and maybe doubt what the beneficiaries of the status quo have been saying for years, which is that government spending always leads inflation, which leads to recessions, which leads to normal people losing their jobs.

Normal people might start associating government spending with prosperity, and even demand more of it, instead of what they’ve been doing, which is associating government spending with high inflation, energy shocks, communism and well, anything that’s not unfettered capitalism.

And that just won’t do.

The beneficiaries of the status quo became what they are in part because normal (white) people decided to believe what the beneficiaries of the status quo told them. The decision to believe what they were told ended the period in US history in which the government helped the people and began the current period in which they believed the government hurt the people. If normal (white) people change their minds, what happens then?

Better to maximum pain at the pump.

And minimize hourly wages bumped.

It’s not working, though. The economy keeps adding jobs, raising the price of labor even more. So some of the beneficiaries of the status quo have had to spell out what they truly want. The manager of the world’s largest hedge fund said that to push down prices we must push down labor. According to Bloomberg, Bob Prince said “more layoffs are needed to tackle inflation.”


More layoffs are not needed.

Not when the government is on the people’s side.

READ MORE: 'We just come in and cough all over each other': Fox News hosts mock sick days as 'bogus' wastes of time

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal
{{ }}
@2022 - AlterNet Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. - "Poynter" fonts provided by