Friday, December 3, 2021
Home Global Issues Analysis: Reasons to be thankful vs. worried this Thanksgiving

Analysis: Reasons to be thankful vs. worried this Thanksgiving

There’s loads of trigger for concern on social, political and well being points. Covid-19 instances are up in most states, signaling but once more that the virus is right here to keep. A collection of court docket instances proved the nationwide looking on problems with race is as difficult and unsolvable as ever.
And looming behind each story on politics is the anticipated, tried comeback of former President Donald Trump, who this time final yr was plotting a coup. Sometimes these tales dovetail, as when Trump met with Kyle Rittenhouse, {the teenager} who was lately acquitted after killing two individuals in Kenosha, Wisconsin, final summer time.
On Wednesday, in the meantime, President Joe Biden pointed to the conviction of three White males within the demise of Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old Black man, as proof that “our justice system (is) doing its job.”

What might contact extra Americans extra straight on daily basis, nonetheless, is the state of the US financial system.

Here is the disconnect between the info and day by day life: People are feeling the pinch due to rising prices on the gasoline pump and the grocery retailer even when there’s a variety of excellent financial news to be thankful for.

First, just about anybody who desires a job has one. The authorities recorded simply 199,000 new jobless claims final week, the bottom since 1969. Meanwhile, a key measure of inflation rose to a 31-year excessive in October.
CNN’s Christine Romans, in a video report, described this Covid-19 pandemic contradiction.

I’ve borrowed a lot of her language for this listing of arguably good news, which incorporates:

  • US industrial output is racing forward above pre-pandemic ranges.
  • Auto manufacturing bounced again final month and manufacturing unit output would have been even stronger if not for hiccups within the company provide chain.
  • Corporate income are enviable and large firms are navigating provide chain woes, passing alongside greater prices to prospects and even padding their revenue margins alongside the way in which.
  • The greatest publicly traded firms have larger revenue margins right this moment than earlier than the pandemic, and your retirement account most likely reveals it.
  • The Dow is up 17% this yr and the S&P 500 is up 25%. If you step again farther because the market crashed in 2020, some averages have doubled.
  • Workers have the higher hand. You’ve heard it referred to as the “Great Resignation” — Americans quitting their jobs in document numbers. In September, 4.4 million jumped ship, and economists say many are taking higher jobs with greater pay and beginning bonuses.
  • Paychecks are fatter after years of sluggish wage development, particularly for low-wage employees. Wage development is nearing 5%.
  • Americans are saving. Thanks to greater pay, Covid-19 stimulus checks and youngster tax credit, Americans have an extra $2.3 trillion in financial savings because the disaster started. JP Morgan says its median checking account steadiness is 50% greater this yr than in 2019.
  • The financial system is including jobs. Overall, 5.8 million jobs had been added this yr.

There is definitely a contradiction right here if the nationwide temper is down whereas the financial indicators are up.

In a current CBS News ballot, simply 4% of Americans stated issues within the nation are usually going very effectively, and 26% stated they’re going considerably effectively. People felt the identical manner in regards to the financial system: A mixed 30% stated the situation of the nationwide financial system was excellent or pretty good.
It’s additionally true that whereas issues in regards to the financial system are up, they’re nonetheless traditionally fairly low, as Gallup notes.

“Inflation concerns hog all the headlines, but most other indicators are roaring ahead,” Romans stated in her report.

She supplied two causes shopper sentiment gauges do not mirror the sturdy indicators:

  • Americans are exhausted by the pandemic.
  • They are bombarded on daily basis by greater costs on the grocery retailer and the gasoline station. “Everybody drives and eats; not everybody owns stocks,” she stated.
It’s onerous to sq. these sturdy indicators with the foolish meme circulating in Washington that some Americans won’t be in a position to afford turkeys this yr due to inflation.

I requested Ariel Edwards-Levy, CNN’s polling editor, how to view the nationwide temper, and she or he argued the polling defies straightforward takeaways.

She stated, “It’s concurrently true that:

  • a) concerns about the economy are on the rise,
  • b) the economy still isn’t nearly as dominant an issue as it was during the Great Recession,
  • c) Americans’ prevailing views of the economy right now are overall pretty lousy and
  • d) views of the economy are closely entangled with partisanship.”

The partisan factor is a vital one. Large parts of Republicans might need a worse view of the financial system proper now merely due to their disregard for Biden. Democrats might need exhibited the identical conduct throughout the Trump administration.

Food is definitely costlier. The American Farm Bureau Federation crunched numbers to argue the typical Thanksgiving feast for 10 individuals will price $53.31, or about $5.30 per individual. Last yr, its common determine was $46.90.

The American Farm Bureau Federation famous that turkeys are costlier this yr, but in addition added the asterisk that it shopped for turkeys to make these calculations earlier than grocery shops had stocked for Thanksgiving.

When White House press secretary Jen Psaki was requested about this being the costliest Thanksgiving ever, she responded, “I just want to be clear that there are abundance of turkeys available. They’re about one dollar more for a 20-pound bird, which is a huge bird if you’re feeding a very big family. And that’s something that, again, we’ve been working to make sure people have more money in their pockets to address it as the economy is turning back on.”

An abundance of turkeys is one thing for which each American can be thankful, even when there’s concern that they price a bit extra.

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