Politics Magazine

The Economy Is Doing Great (But Not For Everyone)

Posted on the 29 January 2022 by Jobsanger
The Economy Is Doing Great (But Not For Everyone) 

How is the economy doing? If you just looked at the polls, you might think it's not doing well, because many people think President Biden is not doing well on economic matters. But that is simply not true. The truth is that the economy is doing great. The GDP for 2021 was the highest since 1984 (and far higher than at any time during Trump's tenure). And 6.4 million jobs were created in 2021 -- a record (and again, far higher than any year under Trump).

Here's how Steve Benen describes it at MSNBC.com: 

As a presidential candidate in 2016, Donald Trump made bold predictions about the kind of economic growth the United States would see if he were elected. Americans would celebrate, the Republican said, as annual GDP growth reached 4 percent for the first time in decades.

It was among the most jarring of Trump's broken promises. Even before the pandemic, GDP growth in Trump's first three years failed to reach 3 percent.

But as it turns out, the U.S. economy was able to reach growth rates unseen in a generation, but it happened under President Joe Biden. The Associated Press reported this morning:

The nation's gross domestic product — its total output of goods and services — expanded 5.7% in 2021. It was the strongest calendar-year growth since a 7.2% surge in 1984 after a previous recession. The economy ended the year by growing at an unexpectedly brisk 6.9% annual pace from October through December, the Commerce Department reported Thursday.

Not only is this the strongest annual growth in 37 years, it's also the second strongest since 1966

By any fair measure, this is excellent news that exceeded expectations. In fact, a year ago, none of the major forecasters were projecting growth this strong in the United States. Domestic growth even outpaced China's economic growth in 2021 for the first time in decades.

All of this, of course, comes on the heels of related news that the economy also created 6.4 million jobs in Biden's first year in the White House — roughly in line with the number of jobs created over the first three years of Trump's presidency combined.

The economy is obviously doing very well. So, why doesn't the general public know that? 

The answer is that our economic system is not equal in its distribution of the wealth created by a good economy. When the economy is bad, everyone suffers. But when the economy is doing good, the rich and corporations are benefitted while most Americans are not.

This is because of the "trickle-down" economics that was instituted by the Republicans in the 1980's. They sold the country on the notion that when the rich and corporations do well, everyone does well -- because the rich and corporations will trickle that added wealth down to ordinary Americans.

The problem is that this simply doesn't work. Instead of anything trickling down, the bank accounts of the rich and corporations just grew fatter.

This does not have to be this way, and it didn't used to be. Prior to 1980, workers got a share of increased productivity. Now they don't -- making the rich much richer, and increasing the wealth and income gap between the rich and everyone else.

This must be changed. A good start would be to increase the minimum wage, strengthen unions (and make it easier to create and join them), and make sure the rich and corporations pay their fair share of taxes. But Republicans won't allow any of that to happen. They must be voted out of power to create a fairer economy.

They will whine that this is socialist income redistribution. But remember, income is always being redistributed in a capitalist economy. It's just that the current economic rules (instituted by the Republicans) have the money being redistributed from most Americans to the rich. That is backward. 

In our economy, money naturally flows upward -- it does not trickle-down. And when the working and middle classes do well, everyone benefits (including the rich).

It is time to institute a fairer economic system, and the fist step toward doing that is to vote the Republicans out of power. 

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