As Americans head into another holiday season it appears the economic situation isn’t better for the vast majority.
An MSNBC report from Chris Hayes took a deeper dive into economic numbers, showing the difficulties people are facing. The Peterson Foundation revealed in a late October poll that only 35 percent of Americans believe they are better off than before. A full 33 percent say they’re the same and 31 percent said they are worse off. That is an astounding two-thirds of Americans who aren’t benefitting in President Donald Trump’s economy.
Hayes noted that given the economic successes, most Americans should be doing exceptionally well. Former Department of Labor chief economist Betsey Stevenson warned of rising economic inequality ushing in tremendous successes for the top percent of wage earners, but it isn’t trickling down to middle-class families. She noted that in 2018 there was evidence of a slow-down in wage growth compared to what was seen between 2013 and 2017.
“That wage growth — median wages in some parts of the country didn’t move at all last year,” Stevenson explained. While wages aren’t growing, the list of uninsured Americans is growing along with higher costs.
“So, the last couple of years, the number of people without insurance has been increasing, childcare costs are rising,” she continued. “We see a strong economy where people aren’t having children. It’s very unusual to see the birth rate decline and that’s what we’re seeing.
Moody’s Analytics Chief Economist Mark Zandi leans more conservative in his economic opinions, but while Stevenson was talking about the state of the economy, he was nodding his head. He explained that 40 percent of American households don’t have enough cash to cover an emergency. An emergency, under the Federal Reserve’s definition, is something that costs over $400.
“So I think that makes the point very strongly that despite the headline good economic news, it really has not filtered down yet to many, many working-class Americans,” Zandi said.
Stevenson explained that there is a greater demand for workers but it isn’t translating to a demand for better wages or working conditions.
“That link that gives workers more bargaining power seems to be broken,” she continued.
“We were nearly there — we just got side-tracked by really bad economic policy,” Zandi said of Trump’s economics.
See the full video below:
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