Decoding the Covid Economy Contradiction on Thanksgiving – CityNewss

There is much cause for concern about social, political and health issues. Covid-19 cases are in most states, which again indicates that the virus is here to stay. A series of court cases have proved that the national calculation on race issues is as complicated and unsolvable as ever.
And behind every story about politics looms the expected, attempted return of former President Donald Trump, who planned a coup this time last year. Sometimes these stories fit together, like when Trump met Kyle Rittenhouse, the teenager who was recently acquitted after killing two people in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last summer.
President Joe Biden, meanwhile, on Wednesday referred to the conviction of three White men in the death of Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old Black man, as proof that “our legal system (is) doing its job.”

However, what may affect more Americans more directly each day is the state of the U.S. economy.

Here’s the disconnect between the data and daily life: People feel the pinch due to rising costs at the gas station and the grocery store, even though there is a lot of good economic news to be thankful for.

First, almost everyone who wants a job has one. The government last week recorded just 199,000 new unemployed claims, the lowest since 1969. Meanwhile, a key measure of inflation rose to a 31-year high in October.
CNN Christine Romans described this Covid-19 pandemic inconsistency in a video report.

I borrowed a lot of her language for this list of probably good news, which includes:

  • US industrial output accelerates above pre-pandemic levels.
  • Car manufacturing returned last month and factory output would have been even stronger if not for hiccups in the corporate supply chain.
  • Corporate profits are enviable and large companies are navigating the supply chain problems by passing on higher costs to customers and even filling their profit margins along the way.
  • The largest listed companies have larger profit margins today as before the pandemic, and your retirement account probably shows it.
  • The Dow rose 17% this year and the S&P 500 is 25% higher. If you step back further since the market collapsed in 2020, some averages have doubled.
  • Workers have the upper hand. You’ve heard it called the “Great Resignation” – Americans resigning their jobs in record numbers. In September, 4.4 million jumped, and economists say many take better jobs with higher salaries and start-up bonuses.
  • Pay checks are fatter after years of sluggish wage growth, especially for low-wage workers. Wage growth is close to 5%.
  • Americans save. Thanks to higher pay, Covid-19 stimulus checks and child tax credits, Americans have a surplus of $ 2.3 trillion in savings since the crisis began. JP Morgan says its median checking account balance is 50% higher this year than in 2019.
  • The economy adds jobs. A total of 5.8 million jobs were added this year.

Here is definitely a contradiction if the national mood is down while the economic indicators are up.

In a recent CBS News poll, only 4% of Americans said things were going very well in the country overall, and 26% said they were doing somewhat well. People felt the same way about the economy: A combined 30% said the state of the national economy was very good or fairly good.
It is also true that although concerns about the economy are growing, they are still historically fairly low, as Gallup notes.

“Inflation is about all the news, but most other indicators are roaring forward,” Romans said in her report.

She gave two reasons why consumer sentiment meters do not reflect the strong indicators:

  • Americans are exhausted by the pandemic.
  • They are bombarded every day by higher prices at the grocery store and the gas station. “Everyone drives and eats; not everyone owns shares,” she said.
It’s hard to celebrate those strong indicators with the silly meme circulating in Washington that some Americans may not be able to afford turkeys this year due to inflation.

I asked Ariel Edwards-Levy, CNN’s poll editor, how to view the national vote, and she argued the poll defies easy takeaways.

She said: “It is true at the same time that:

  • a) concerns about the economy are increasing,
  • b) the economy is still not nearly as dominant an issue as during the Great Recession,
  • c) Americans’ prevailing views of the economy at the moment are generally fairly common and
  • d) views of the economy are now entangled with bias. “

The biased element is an important one. Large parts of the Republicans may have a worse view of the economy at the moment simply because of their disregard for Biden. Democrats may have shown the same behavior during the Trump administration.

Food is definitely more expensive. The American Farm Bureau Federation has cracked numbers arguing that the average Thanksgiving feast for 10 people will cost $ 53.31, or about $ 5.30 per person. Last year, its average figure was $ 46.90.

The American Farm Bureau Federation noted that turkeys are more expensive this year, but also added the asterisk added that he bought for turkeys to make these calculations before grocery stores had stock for Thanksgiving.

When asked by White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki that it was the most expensive Thanksgiving ever, she replied: “I just want to make it clear that there is an abundance of turkeys available. They are about one dollar more for a 20-pound bird, which is a great bird if you are feeding a very large family. And that is something that once again, we have worked to make sure people have more money in their pockets to address it as the economy picks up again. “

An abundance of turkeys is something every American can be grateful for, even if there is concern that they are costing a little more.

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