The labor market the United States is experiencing right now wasn’t supposed to be possible.
Not that long ago, the overwhelming consensus among economists would have been that you couldn’t have a 3.6 percent unemployment rate without also seeing the rate of job creation slowing (where are new workers going to come from with so few out of work, after all?) and having an inflation surge (a worker shortage should mean employers bidding up wages, right?).
And yet that is what has happened, with the April employment numbers putting an exclamation point on the trend. The jobless rate receded to its lowest level in five decades. Employers also added 263,000 jobs; the job creation estimates of previous months were revised up; and average hourly earnings continued to rise at a steady rate — up 3.2 percent over the last year.
Compare that reality with the projections the Federal Reserve published just three years ago. In mid-2016, Fed officials thought that the long-run rate of unemployment would be around 4.8 percent, and that this would coincide with 2 percent inflation.
If that were the jobless rate today, 1.9 million Americans would not be working who are instead gainfully employed. And despite this ultralow unemployment rate, inflation is only 1.6 percent over the last year, below the level the Fed aims for.
If democrats are smart they will acknowledge that Trump, while not starting the 9 year improvement in the economy (it started under President Obama), he has steered its continuing advancement for the past 28 months. To not acknowledge this is foolish and actually plays right into the hands of Trump and the republicans. It should also be acknowledged that some of the Trump deregulation is responsible for the economic expansion we have seen since Trump took over.
People do indeed vote their wallets pocketbooks. When families see their income rising, are able to pay their mortgage or rent, put food on the table, pay their financial obligations, and have money left to take a vacation and go out to dinner occasionally they will vote for the guy in office when that is the case. Democrats ned to understand this.
Having said the foregoing, there is much more to being the president of the United States of America than just managing the economy and the military. Being president should also be about leadership and the vision thing.
The democratic party, as well as all candidates running to secure their party’s nomination, should give high fives for the current economic growth and the very low unemployment occurring since Trump took office. It’s all good and skirting this truth for political purposes is really rather counter-productive.
The democratic party, if it hopes to take back the White House, and I hope it does, must decide what its core values are and craft a vision that Americans can and will buy into. This includes a realistic plan for continued economic growth that benefits all Americans from bottom to top. It’s a simple truth that cannot be escaped.
Character, honesty, decency, respect, empathy, respect for the constitution and the rule of law, and actual transparency are all character traits that Americans expect in their president. They are also all things Trump is sorely lacking in. This presents a great opportunity for the democratic party and its candidates to paint a vivid picture contrasting the differences between the democratic and republican parties and the folks running to be nominated by the democratic party.
Democratic candidates need not eat their own in the attempt to win the nomination. What they must do is focus on agreed upon core values of the party and then present their own positive plan for bringing the country together and restoring faith in our institutions of government. As well as how they plan to continue the current positive economic growth and low unemployment.
It ain’t gonna be easy, but, it sure as hell is going to be necessary.