Grim headlines warn of an impending stall in America’s economic recovery. But as is often the case, the narrative the media is pushing isn’t the story people are living.
Three new pieces of data on confidence, housing, and jobs are showing us that workers, families, and businesses are moving past fear and pessimism.
America is bouncing back more strongly than the loudest pundits and politicians are willing to acknowledge, and voters need to know it as they decide whose policies will dictate where the recovery goes from here.
Consumer confidence in September saw its biggest jump in 17 years as people reported that they expect to see higher incomes and more job opportunities in the near term.
According to survey findings, respondents say business conditions are improving, it’s getting easier to find work, and they’re gearing up for more big purchases—like cars and appliances—in the months ahead.
The confidence boost also explains why the housing market has been red hot. This week the National Association of Realtors reported its index of pending home sales rose to a record high, and it follows news that both new and existing home sales continue to see sharp gains.
These aren’t the kinds of moves people make out of fear, but when they see opportunity.
Both the confidence bump and housing boom coincide with 5 straight months of job gains that easily eclipse anything we’ve seen before. It’s an employment comeback that indicates the economic momentum we enjoyed heading into the pandemic is still at work.
Too many journalists and pundits concentrated in coastal media bubbles have been missing this story of economic resurgence and hope, as Martha Raddatz of ABC News notably reported this week. After a 6,000-mile cross-country road trip that took her to places ignored by most national media, she expressed “surprise” that people were “talking about the economy more than anything else.”
Not just talking about it, as the evidence shows, but bringing it back.
An election that will come down to leadership demands an honest accounting of what leaders have accomplished.
Biden would like Americans to believe that the shutdown economy is representative of Trump’s economic record. But anyone willing to take an honest look at the data will immediately conclude the opposite.
The pre-pandemic economy under President Trump produced record highs on median income, near record lows on poverty rates, generational lows on unemployment, and wages that grew fastest for groups that have historically lagged behind.
And, as the data continues to roll in after the depths of the shutdown, we’re seeing the economy has picked up much of that same vibrancy. Confidence, spending, housing, and jobs have come back faster and stronger than most of the “experts” saw coming.
It’s not an accident that Biden chooses to focus on the worst three months of this pandemic-ridden year rather than the full three and half years of the President’s economic record. But it is irresponsible.
Making a smart choice in November means examining the whole record, including what’s happening right now.
Americans have been producing historic, widespread gains in prosperity. Coronavirus shut those down for a time but didn’t knock them out. Businesses, workers, and families are on the move, investing, buying, and hiring. They’re regaining optimism and looking for political leaders who will help them unleash it.
That’s the economic story America is living right now. Voters need to know it if they’re going to help write the next chapter in November.