Though inflation-adjusted wage growth resumed earlier this year, real wages are still down overall since Joe Biden took office. It’s not crazy to suppose that this could be affecting people’s attitudes toward the economy.
Matt Bruenig is the founder of People’s Policy Project.
There are many good reasons to be unhappy with the economy today: by conventional social democratic metrics like union density, welfare generosity, and public ownership levels, the economy is not in good shape, and recent trends have been mixed at best.
The US could learn from the Faroe Islands, a Danish territory where the state automatically removes taxes owed and adds welfare payments to workers’ paychecks. It’s way easier for workers and shows why universal benefits are better than means-testing.
Some have defended Joe Biden’s economic record by noting that median household wealth has increased on his watch. But that uptick is mostly due to home and car value inflation — meaning it’s of limited use to regular people who need their home and cars to live.
In many multiparty democracies, left-wing factions often agree to support center-left governments in exchange for a policy or cabinet position. But in the US, the Left is typically expected to support the center left without getting any concessions in return.
Pundits are still scratching their heads about why voters don’t love the state of the US economy. But many workers are in worse straits than they were a few years ago, particularly because Democrats let the COVID welfare provisions expire.
Led by labor-backed mayor Brandon Johnson, Chicago could become the first big city in the US to open a publicly owned grocery store.
New data on wealth distribution in the US confirms what we already knew: within all major demographic groups, whether by age, race, or education, wealth is concentrated at the top. The US is a deeply unequal society.
A new book makes the supposedly brave claim that two-parent families are good, and that unmarried poor people are miring themselves in poverty. But what upper-class people practice is not just “marriage” — it’s “marriage to upper-class people.”
Fully funding Social Security isn’t hard. We should do it.
Children, the elderly, disabled people, and students continue to make up the vast majority of the US poor. We could easily slash poverty by increasing the generosity and reach of benefit programs for the nonworking population — but lawmakers refuse to do so.
Egalitarian reformers have argued that elite college admissions should focus less on test scores and more on personal statements, extracurriculars, and recommendation letters. New research suggests that this approach only further favors the wealthy.
Rather than ending affirmative action, as many headlines have stated, yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling has created new rules about how race can be considered in university admissions — and they might be more in line with left-wing rationales for affirmative action.
If the Supreme Court rules against Joe Biden on student debt, it will be a major blow. But there is a more straightforward path for Biden to unilaterally forgive a lot of student debt.
The state just has to make one small tweak to their parental leave proposal — otherwise a large number of new Pennsylvania parents will be ineligible for the program and receive no financial support while they care for their newborns.
The debt ceiling deal is a cruel agreement that imposes new work requirements on SNAP recipients and bureaucratic hurdles for those who still qualify. It will kick people off the rolls and inflict pain, seemingly randomly, with no regard for the human toll.
Don’t let the Democrats tell you Joe Biden’s hands are tied on the debt ceiling. If he really wanted to, he could use any number of maneuvers to refuse Republicans’ anti-worker, anti-poor demands and still avoid default.
Minnesota just passed a paid parental leave program. But the plan has no minimum benefit and entirely excludes all new parents who did not earn $3,500 in the 12 months leading up to birth.
Many Nordic countries use the “Ghent” unemployment system, where unions rather than the state administer benefits. Some on the Left have applauded this approach — but leftists in the US would do well to avoid it.