Just listen to any of the Democratic presidential contenders, suggests the WSJ, and you’ll be scratching your head:
- Joe Biden: The middle class and working-class people are being clobbered. “The wealthy are the only ones doing well, period.”
- Elizabeth Warren: America is not working for Americans who “are sick of living in a country” that is “working great for the corporate executives. Ms. Warren described tens of millions choosing between groceries and medical prescriptions and warned of climate change “that particularly hits black and brown communities.”
- Bernie Sanders: “In America today, our infrastructure is crumbling. Half of our people are living paycheck to paycheck. Eighty-seven million people have no health care or are uninsured or underinsured. We got 500,000 people sleeping out on the streets tonight.”
- Tom Steyer: Corporations “are having their way with the American people and people are suffering, This is cruelty for money,” Steyer pronounced.
- Pete Buttigieg: “You know, my part of the country, in the industrial Midwest, I remember when they came around in the ’90s, selling trade deals, telling us, don’t worry about your slice of the pie, the pie will get so much bigger that everyone will be better off. And that promise was broken. The part about the pie getting bigger happened. It’s just that the part about it getting to most people where I live did not.”
Only problem, as the WSJ argues, it sure is not as bleak as it sounds:
- The jobless rate is 3.5%, and incomes are now rising faster for low-income workers than for their bosses. That includes a 5.9% annual increase for the bottom tenth of workers during the Trump Presidency, more than double the rate in President Obama’s second term.
- The bottom half of households have seen their net worth increase by 47% since the 2016 election, according to a report by the White House Council of Economic Advisers.
- A late 2019 Quinnipiac poll found 57% of Americans said they were better off financially than in 2016 while 22% said they were worse off.
- A Fidelity year-end survey found 78% expect to be better off in 2020 compared to 2019.
The Challenge for Democrats
Pitching carnage will be persuading Americans that they shouldn’t believe the economy they see with their own eyes.
Read more here.