The Woes of Bidenomics
How things are going from bad to worse.
Bidenomics consists of President Joe Biden’s radical progressive prescriptions for transforming the American economy, including massive wealth redistribution, focus on “equity” and “social justice” rather than merit and economic opportunity, disincentives for work, and cradle-to-grave entitlements. It’s not working.
President Biden tried his best to put a positive spin on last Friday’s dismal September jobs report. Biden said that “when you take a step back and look at what’s happening, we’re actually making real progress.”
That’s right up there with Biden’s claim that his disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan - leaving Americans, Afghan allies, and many billions of dollars of advanced weaponry behind under Taliban control - was an "extraordinary success."
The total nonfarm payroll employment rose by the paltry amount of 194,000 this September – about 300,000 short of consensus estimates. To put this pitiful number in perspective, the total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 661,000 in September 2020 – while the coronavirus was still raging, and no vaccines were available yet.
Biden focused on the decline of the unemployment rate to 4.8 percent. But that decline occurred largely because the labor force itself diminished by nearly 200,000 people. In other words, more and more people of prime working age have given up looking for a job and dropped out of the labor force altogether. They are not counted in calculating the nation’s unemployment rate.
There are plenty of job openings today that remain unfilled. After all, why work if you can sit back and be taken care of by the entitlement state that Biden and the Democrat-controlled Congress are creating, which bestows generous welfare benefits with no work requirements?
Average hourly earnings rose 0.6 percent in September from August. The year-over-year increase rose to 4.6 percent. Biden seized on this statistic to claim that “we saw one of the largest increases in average wages paid to workers on — of working Americans on record.”
However, this is of little comfort to people trying to make ends meet as inflation continues to escalate on Biden’s watch. Since May 2021, the annual inflation rate has averaged over 5 percent year-to-year. It is rising at a faster rate than the increase in average hourly wages, which means that workers are falling more and more behind every month. Their wallets are being squeezed.
Inflation hurts poor and working-class people most of all – the people Biden claims he is most concerned about.
Oil prices are at a near 7-year high. Americans are paying for it at the pump. Biden has reversed Trump administration policies that made the U.S. energy independent. He has put OPEC back in the driver’s seat.
Food prices are rising at a breakneck pace. Meat, poultry, fish, and eggs are up nearly six percent over the last year and nearly 15 percent since July 2019, with no sign of easing any time soon.
Out-of-control spending by the Biden administration and the Democrat-controlled Congress has been a significant contributor to today’s inflation problem. If passed on a partisan basis through the reconciliation process, Biden’s multi-trillion dollar “Build Back Better” tax-and-spend extravaganza will add further fuel to the inflation fire while killing good-paying jobs with strangling business taxes. Biden’s claim that “My Build Back Better Agenda costs zero dollars” earned Two Pinocchios from the Washington Post.
No wonder Biden is getting such poor marks from the American people on the economy. The most recent Quinnipiac University national poll showed that when it comes to Biden’s handling of the economy, 39 percent approved, while 55 percent disapproved. Overall, he received “a negative 38 - 53 percent job approval rating,” according to Quinnipiac.
Joe Biden ran for president promising to successfully tackle the coronavirus pandemic. Get the pandemic under control, Biden assured Americans, and the economy will rebound sharply. Supposedly, people will rush out to fill the millions of jobs that would open up. Biden has failed on both counts.
“We’re making real progress on COVID-19,” Biden said with a straight face during his remarks on October 8th. A majority of the American people do not agree. According to the latest Quinnipiac poll, 48 percent approved of the job that Biden was doing in responding to the coronavirus pandemic, while 50 percent disapproved. That is being overly generous to Biden, considering that he had three coronavirus vaccines handed to him on a silver platter as a result of former President Donald Trump’s highly successful Project Warp Speed.
More than 300,000 Americans were reported to have died because of COVID-19 since Biden took office less than nine months ago. That’s more than 40 percent of the total number of American deaths attributed to COVID-19 since the first cases of coronavirus in the United States were reported on Jan. 21, 2020.
After failing to effectively use his presidential bully pulpit to persuade more Americans to be vaccinated, Biden decided to resort to imposing a nationwide vaccine mandate on businesses with more than 100 employees. However, Biden’s lax approach in allowing untested and unvaccinated illegal aliens into the country and releasing them undercuts his credibility on the critical importance of vaccinating all Americans.
Moreover, vaccine mandates can adversely affect employment. Some businesses, as well as state and local governments, have already put mandates in place, which have led to thousands of unvaccinated workers either quitting themselves or being fired. Other individuals looking for work who are unvaccinated – including some people with natural antibodies from having been infected with the coronavirus – are being barred from working at jobs of their choice.
The Wall Street Journal editorial board pointed to the vaccine mandates as one reason for labor shortages that are holding back the economy’s growth as we emerge from the pandemic. Added to that are inflation, higher taxes, more regulations, and disincentives to work, courtesy of the Biden administration and their allies in Congress.
Even with the end of the supplemental unemployment benefits, the Wall Street Journal editors noted, “there are still many other federal financial payments that don’t require work, including a $300 monthly allowance per child, food stamps and rental assistance.” The reconciliation bill would add much more.
Bidenomics is a Biden-made disaster, just like the border crisis he created and his disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan.