2024-06-11 热心小哥 7927

There’s something weird happening with the economy. On a personal level, most Americans say they’re doing pretty well right now. And according to the data, that’s true. Wages have gone up faster than inflation. Unemployment is low, the stock market is generally up so far this year, and people are buying more stuff.


And yet in surveys, people keep saying the economy is bad. A recent Harris poll for The Guardian found that around half of Americans think the S. & P. 500 is down this year, and that unemployment is at a 50-year high. Fifty-six percent think we’re in a recession.

然而在调查中,人们一直说经济很糟糕。哈里斯最近为《卫报》进行的一项民意调查发现,大约一半的美国人认为标准普尔500指数(s&p 500)今年会下跌,失业率处于50年来的最高水平。56%的人认为我们正处于经济衰退之中。

There are many theories about why this gap exists. Maybe political polarization is warping how people see the economy or it’s a failure of President Biden’s messaging, or there’s just something uniquely painful about inflation. And while there’s truth in all of these, it felt like a piece of the story was missing.

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And for me, that missing piece was an article I read right before the pandemic. An Atlantic story from February 2020 called “The Great Affordability Crisis Breaking America .” It described how some of Americans’ biggest-ticket expenses — housing, health care, higher education and child care — which were already pricey, had been getting steadily pricier for decades.


At the time, prices weren’t the big topic in the economy; the focus was more on jobs and wages. So it was easier for this trend to slip notice, like a frog boiling in water, quietly, putting more and more strain on American budgets. But today, after years of high inflation, prices are the biggest topic in the economy. And I think that explains the anger people feel: They’re noticing the price of things all the time, and getting hammered with the reality of how expensive these things have become.

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The author of that Atlantic piece is Annie Lowrey. She’s an economics reporter,, and also my wife. In this conversation, we discuss how the affordability crisis has collided with our post-pandemic inflationary world, the forces that shape our economic perceptions, why people keep spending as if prices aren’t a strain and what this might mean for the presidential election.


Americans are facing a tough time with their finances, especially concerning housing affordability and retirement savings.


I'm getting worried about the rising housing prices. It seems like it's becoming harder to afford a home these days.


Yeah, it's a real struggle. With the rising housing prices and stagnant wages, it's becoming increasingly difficult for many to afford homes, let alone save for retirement.


Absolutely. And with the fear of not being able to retire comfortably, people might be tempted to make risky investments or neglect proper financial planning, which could spell trouble for their portfolios in the long run.


It's a vicious cycle. If people can't afford homes, they might delay retirement savings, but if they focus solely on saving for retirement without considering their housing situation, they might miss out on potential investment opportunities.


And let's not forget how the global economy plays into all of this. Economic instability, inflation, and market fluctuations can further complicate matters and add to people's financial worries.


Most times it all comes down to proper financial planning cause most people don’t realize how important financial planners are until they messed up. Staying productive with the latest strategies and analysis really pays off. With professional help I turned $220k into $880k despite the market ups and downs.


Why are you saying this before the election? We need to pretend everything is fine until November.


that in competitive markets businesses are not price setters but price takers. The fact that businesses are setting prices higher because they can reflects that the markets are not accepting new competitors, because there is a vision of profit, and existing businesses in the market have political or otherwise power to set prices. Home insurance market, pharmaceuticals, defense industry, Medical insurance…. The list goes on and on. We have just had 44 years of suppression of the enforcement of Anti Trust Laws.






If it’s true, you could call it shadow cartel behaviour. But how can you prove it…


We're also not talking about the dramatic decrease in the number of players in basically every market.


...This means that people ARE correct to ultimately blame corporate greed and Washington, D.C. for these economic problems, then, right? And from what I've seen it doesn't matter much which party is in power: the corporate greed continues unabated.


@stephenbonaduce7852 yeah this if the Neo liberal regime since Reagan.


How to do business like an American corporation-
Step 1: Buy politicians and lobby for regulations, tariffs, and subsidies to protect your monopoly and destroy domestic competition
Step 2: Cut costs by using cheaper materials and ingredients, cut employee wages and compensation, and refuse to innovate or do R&D so you can maximize shareholder value
Step 3: Outsource any remaining American jobs to the developing world and hire immigrants to work for less
Step 4: Act bewildered and wonder why line no go up when you gut your business operations and destroy the buying power of the American consumer at the expense of shareholder value
Step 5: Cry for more tariffs and regulations when China (or any competitor) surpasses the value offered by shoddy American products and services
Step 6: Lobby to weaponize the US dollar when other countries refuse to be exploited
Step 7: Watch American industry wither and die and the economy implode
Step 8: Blame China


Insurance, utility prices.....


Pretty much. And then we blame Joe on the inflation thing.


It's not a cost-of-living crisis. It's an OMG-I-Am-Fucking-Poor crisis.


The widening wealth equity gap is not a new theory.


true but doesn't mean it isn't an issue NOW. Even more so, it needs to include the fiscal dominance in this talk to make sure we all see the holistic view.


No, but everybody is wise to it now vs the old "boot straps" ideology


@johnwu7 I said it wasn't a new theory, not an invalid one. The point is even respected news sites engage in clickbait. But, you know what Hearst said.

@johnwu7 我说这不是一个新理论,而不是一个无效的理论。关键是即使是受人尊敬的新闻网站也在做点击诱饵。但你知道赫斯特说过什么。

Economists and media keep telling us that the economy is fantastic, but we can't afford anything, so then they just tell us we're bad with money. Executives and landlords are cheering them on while raising prices and rent. You don't need a new economic theory to explain this, it's painfully obvious.


More pillow talk. Less economics


The traditional unemployment rate does not capture real unemployment. You do not cite the labor participation rate which is dramatically lower than its peak in the 1990s.


“The United States of America has gone from an open, competitive marketplace to an economy where a few politically powerful companies dominate key industries that affect our daily lives.” — Denise Hearn (2018)

“美国已经从一个开放、竞争的市场转变为一个少数政治强大的公司主导关键行业的经济,这些行业影响着我们的日常生活。” ——丹妮丝·赫恩(2018)

Bravo! Exactly!


Millennial parents up in here Childcare expense is why I stopped teaching and changed careers. All under a political regime that is supposed to help civil servants.


Some things you might be interested in looking at are historic housing prices. Look at cities. In my case, while things have levelled off, my house in Colorado Springs more than doubled in value from 2016 to 2020. Rents have followed suit. Inflation? I suggest you look at historical inflation in France, Germany, England, pick five random first-world countries.
Yeah, Biden failed in some areas. Every president fails in some ways. Maybe an autocracy would help? Look at Hungary, Turkey, other places of your choice. Ignore things like Duerted massacring homosexuals and focus on the benefits.
Keep in mind the saying, "when the Fed taps on the brakes, someone goes through the windshield". Do some research. Don't just focus on USA.


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Would things be better for teachers under Trump or Biden, in your opinion? My mom was a teacher.


Cheapness of food? Ezra leave the NYC bubble once in a while


It very cheap now that I eat 1/3 what I used to. :)

现在我只吃以前的三分之一,所以很便宜。 :)
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Quality of life decline.


You rely on false data. Unemployment does not measure people who are not looking for work. Those who have given up looking for work and are not registered at a state unemployment office are not counted. Housing costs are not in the measure of inflation. Millions work for minimum wage which is not a livable wage. College costs are not included. Moreover, people harken back to the 50s when one income could support a family. Wages have been stagnant for a long time.


If you're a Harvard grad the economy is great


Are Harvard grads the only people that take these polls?


the numbers don't lie but liars use numbers


She is Harvard grad


Summary: “The economy isn’t bad. People are just mad because they are frequently reminded that things cost way more than 4 years ago, and their wages haven’t gone up.”
Let’s talk consumer credit card debt.


A simpler explanation; the economy is terrible and the statistics you're referencing to claim otherwise are not actually relevant.


I talked to a 50 years old guy who owns a contractor business building pole buildings and barns. He said he was so busy he won't answer the phone anymore. The next thing he talked about was how the country is going to hell. He is so busy making money he won't answer the phone but thinks the country is going to hell. Just goes to show you the power of media


My plumber said the same thing, but he also said that 80% of his business is to fix poor quality band-aid jobs done by the last plumber. And just because the barn building business is booming doesnt mean all sectors of the economy are booming.


Biden should say: "me and Obama made the 2010's great economy, Trump inherited it, then screwed it up by not taking the pandemic seriously because he doesn't listen to the experts. Now I'm cleaning up his mess."


The biggest line item on everyones budget (especially younger people) is their rent/mortgage. Housing prices have gone up drastically. So yeah you might have gotten a 7% raise and your 401k is doing OK but big goals like home ownership and starting a family are getting more and more out of reach.


Indeed. And these are some of the main reasons that people aren't having kids, and the birthrate is well below replacement. We'll be looking at a cratering population--just when the worst effects of climate change are hitting us, I think!

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When will someone write an article that captures mortgages in 2024? Visual Capitalist took a step in the right direction by comparing median house price to median household income (the ratio by year). That's good for the third of home buyers that buy in cash (probably trading up to a nicer house).
They should compare the ratio of lifetime mortgage cost (principle + interest) to median household income. Or, annual new mortgage cost as a share of annual median household income.


and then there are tens of millions with a fixed rate mortgage like me who's housing costs remain flat.


@MrSteeDoo Fair point. It is also fair to say expensive housing impedes workforce mobility and makes it tough for first time homebuyers like couples.


@MrSteeDoo Your home insurance, property taxes, utilities, and maintenance/repair costs are not flat. My house is paid off, but all other costs are going way up every year. God forbid that I need a new air conditioner or roof.


@mackiej Yes, thanks to Biden's student debt reductions, my 40-ish son and his wife (both holding decent jobs) were finally able to buy a small house, but the payments are crippling.


It isn't complex. The news media is awful. Housing costs, Health care, education costs, cast a pall over otherwise good numbers.


A CEO of a hardware supply company said to me we raised prices (and our margins) significantly during the pandemic and we're not backing down. Or as an economist would say, prices are sticky and slow to adjust, meaning they do not respond quickly to changes in supply and demand. Just walk around a Home Depot or Lowes and prices haven't dropped even as the pandemic ended and supply chains recovered.

一家硬件供应公司的CEO对我说,我们在疫情期间大幅提高了价格(和利润率),我们不会退缩。或者用经济学家的话来说,价格具有粘性并且调整缓慢,这意味着它们不会迅速对供需变化做出反应。只需在Home Depot或Lowes走一圈,即使疫情结束,供应链恢复,价格也没有下降。

He'll back down when customers refuse to pay and look for better deals. Ultimately consumers fighting back is the only way to solve this problem.


Voice from the Ground here, my wife and I can't afford our two bedroom apartment let alone a house to start a new family. If our elites can't solve this for us it's time for them to go. You can build all the houses you want If they are all bought buy slum lord companies it won't solve it.


Inflation is a direct result of income inequality. Simple math, those with extra money buy assets and that raises rents and mortgages. Same with equities (as CEOs raise prices to get the P/E into less crazy territory).... Without tax there is no mechanism to remove money.


Being a busy contractor doesn’t mean you’re making money.
Inflation is a major factor in higher prices and lower profits.
You can be insolvent and very very busy.
The media problem is ‘they’re mostly a dumb and inexperienced as a box of rocks.


The hard news orgs still do a pretty good job: Reuters, AP, BBC, and many local newspapers.
Turn off cable news channels; it is often opinions-first infotainment. Don't use an article written by the summer intern or an opinion columnist to paint the whole news company with a broad brush. Beat reporters--like traffic reporters who have covered the same thing for years--have a good idea what is going on in their specialty. The specialization creates value for the reader.


Where did you take your figures? Did the data included the homeless and the low economic class? It sounds unreliable, all that bla bla!


Inflation inflation inflation. Since 2019 your cost of living has risen 30%.


Fairly easy to get wages up for rich people ya think?


Every year, my Social Security check is increased. Then, my Medicare premiums go up by an amount equal to the increase in my Social Security check. So an extra $100.00 per month comes in, then it goes right back out, then I have to pay income tax on the $100.00. Thus, I end up poorer after getting a raise.
Why would anyone be surprised that I am mad?


what has not been talked about is drilling into unemployment more. More specifically, UNDER-employment. Yeah sure unemployment (by the survey's limited qualifiers) is low. But... The quality of jobs has gotten worse. The gig economy and part time job economy is lowering these unemployment numbers, while screwing the workers whose total compensation is terrible (no benefits). Additionally, we have companies going more lean (see tech layoffs) to squeeze profits. We have a white collar job recession. Unemployment may be relatively low, but the quality of jobs is trash.


I agree with this completely. You're only as secure as your current job, and you can't count on keeping it, because you can be laid off at a whim. Corporate management likes to tell you that your career is under your control, but that like most of what corporate America peddles, is a lie.


Low tax rates on wealthy investors mean they search for investment opportunities like buying up housing and renting it out to you. That lowers the supply and keeps those assets up in price.
It's all about wealth inequality.


@MrSteeDoo No, in my little town and in the big city, people bought up the homes at 0% and at 5.5%. If they could flip or rent the homes for less than the cost to own the home they do. A hard working handy man who can fix up or maintain homes will buy a second home as income and investment. He is not rich. He is merely making money on his skill. The rich guy who rents his house may chose Vegas vacations instead of saving. Nothing in the bank, but he has a high paying job. Wealth inequity will always grow because zero is flat and some people always make and have zero. With inflation, others will make and have more. So depression is the only way to cause wealth equity, everyone has zero. But as long as there are more and more government employees, they always benefit when high taxes and depression kill everyone who does not make money through the government.


@gladyskravitz1000 I am a government employee. I do Survey work on road construction. Are you telling ;me that I am the problem? LOL


At work about every other month they post a letter in the break room praising all of the employees for record monthly sales. But when you get your review, well 3% is all they can give you, sorry its the budget you know. But hey they bought us pizza on Friday . I can think if a couple places id like to stick that pizza 9:53


How many times did Donald Trump declare bankruptcy?


Politics determines how wealth is distributed within a country, while wars and diplomacy determine how wealth is distributed between countries.
The citizens of the world's richest country with the most expensive military are enjoying these benefits: Economic inequality, inflation, stagnant real wages for the last fifty years, costly healthcare, an expensive education system, student loan debt totaling $1.7 trillion with an average balance of $38,000, poor public transportation systems, racial inequality, mass incarceration, the militarization of police, deteriorating infrastructure, housing affordability, homelessness, the opioid epidemic, and gun violence.
Instead of prioritizing the welfare of its people, the US meddles in other countries to spread its version of democracy.


If I still have student loans in November I'm staying home on election day.


Hate for immigrants is weird. Here in Desantis's fascist Florida, even apart from agriculture, life would STOP without the quiet brown guys who build/repair our streets/sewers/bridges, construct our buildings, replace our roofs, etc. The Hispanic females who care for our children, staff our big-box stores, etc.


Education, health, housing, and child care are the difficult to globalize sectors. They increased in price relative to everything else because they could not be off-shored to China. In addition to being domestically anchored, they are the traditionally feminized sectors, which are ‘care’ services, requiring emotional ‘work’, and human connection. Until the 20th century, these social needs were met as part of household management, as gendered work. Often this was supplemented by the church delivering services to local communities. In most advanced economies, as religion declined in importance and women joined the workforce, welfare states took over responsibility for those sectors, and transformed them into modern public services.


@Rnankn Accurate. In America, the rearing of healthy, well socialized, educated and emotionally intelligent, emotionally stable children is dued as are the roles around caregiving and mental health. I would like to see a change. There is too much emphasis on pure economics, not enough on well being and human flourishing.

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Part of the problem... Our brains are distorted by the flood of social media that constantly shows us friends on holiday, buying something cool, having a great meal, attending a concert or other exciting event. We see the icing on their cake, not the reality of their workdays, childcare, housework, etc. But we are fooled, and feel less-than.


People will feel more optimistic when they start to see more crypto influencers toss money in the air.


people can't afford groceries and rent. look at the amount of credit card debt in America...record highs...


It isn't that hard i have kept receits for the past 4 years i can clearly see my expenses have skyrocketed buying same things.


Nobody talks about how medical bills no longer effect your credit scores. That’s huge for mortgages, loans..ect

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an exile Russian talked about what is happening inside Russia right now. Basically, he said that the wealth in Russia was going to the war and to the oligarchs who kept Putin in Power. This left no money for the ordinary citizens. The same thing is happening here just slower and in a less dramatic fashion. There is only so much money, and as the inequality increases -- i.e. the rich get richer, the money has to come from somewhere. Where it comes from is the ordinary citizens who gets poorer.


“Your dollar will be worth just as much tomorrow as it is today.” — President Richard Nixon (R), August 15, 1971
"Ronald Reagan proved that budget deficits don't matter." -- fmr. Vice President Richard Cheney (R), October 2002
“I have abandoned free market principles to save the free market system." -- President George W. Bush (R), December 16, 2008

“你的美元明天的价值将和今天一样。” ——总统理查德·尼克松(共和党),1971年8月15日
“罗纳德·里根证明了预算赤字无关紧要。” ——前副总统理查德·切尼(共和党),2002年10月
“为了拯救自由市场体系,我放弃了自由市场原则。” ——总统乔治·W·布什(共和党),2008年12月16日

We have WORSE health outcomes than Europe. We do not have a real budget deficit. We have homelessness, poor health care, etc. because our elected officials in WA knowingly refuse to finance basic needs. We have unused economic resources and we knowingly do not use them. Modern monetary theory tells the story and apparently you guys can't afford the time or energy, despite your jobs, to learn about it.


Americans are always caught between their belief in 'entitlement' for 'cheap goods' and their belief that Business should be deregulated and government should not interfere with Business. This produces an insane economy. 'Cheap goods' come from overseas countries with 'cheap labor' and often no environmental concerns. On the other hand, there is a belief that everything should be privatized to keep government out of our business ... so to speak. And, the business model of Business shifted to profits for shareholders and high CEO salaries and therefore, prices such as medical care, housing, and child-care all become 'for-profit' and not for wellness or affordability and therefore off the wall expensive. When everything is 'privatized' with such a business model, then expect to have your money sucked out and aggregated upwards.

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Our evolved system has destroyed competition, and we have moved from pure competition to oligopoly to duopoly to monopoly and we are now in a condition of corporate aristocracy where the corporations are the new kings and we are the new peasants.


Hey, guys, didn't Uncle Karl have a point about paying attention to the balance between people's needs and their abilities?


Can anyone spell GASLIGHTING. There is factors that have intentionally not been accounted for, simply for the optics of it for political purposes. I don’t need my Finance Degree in Economics to obxtively analyze this. Deferring your Critical Thinking skills to “the experts and institutions” we have in this time in history is simply a Fools Errand.


Around an hour and 11 minutes in it was said the public feels like they're being gaslighted. That is the only thing they got correct.


Why are people unhappy with the economy? It’s obvious, right? A lot of places are having layoffs, salaries haven’t kept up with inflation, and prices are out of control. Why is it a surprise that people are unhappy?


Unemployment data doesn't cover freelancers and contract workers, which are said to make up a third of the workforce. I freelance and went from working hours of almost 2 full time jobs to almost nothing. And what is out there, the rates are really low for tedious, time-consuming work.


I'll slow you one stat from my county where I live that's more than makes up for any reduced inflation or even dropping in prices. Home in my county (very poor area in northern NY) went from avg of $78k to just under $200k in 3 years and mortgage rates doubled and housing inventory is down 92%. So that means the average mortgage here went from $330 a month in 2020 to $1,500 a month in 2024 and it's actually worse than that because there's no homes for sale in the market of home I would be looking at buying would would have been in the rage of $225,000 before the pandemic and now it's $600,000 even up here. So the mortgage on a house I would have got would have been about $900 a month now it's about $4,500 a month and insurance and tax's would be much higher as well. So no the lower of the gain in inflation doesn't do anything compared to that. But anyone that owns assets like a home with a 2.8% mortgage like all my older siblings they all got almost a half million dollars in equity gained in their house some even more in my home state of Massachusetts for doing nothing..


It’s ridiculous that “prices” don’t include housing or healthcare. Sure, “prices” are in line with wages. That doesn’t matter when basic rent and healthcare have doubled.


Mad angry or mad insane. For many it seems to be both.


I like Joe Rogan much more than this guy. I call him "Better Than Ezra."


termites. Not literal termites, but economic termites: businesses that worm their way into some small niche of the economy and start slowly devouring it. A lot of this has been made possible by the abandonment of antitrust policy by the Reagan administration. Considering that businesses can now just buy up all their competitors, it's not surprising that prices are stubbornly high.


You don't mention the purchase price of new and used cars, or the cost of maintenance/repairs. Transportation is a necessity.


We have not yet come to grips with the elephant in the housing market.
Homeowners have both the political power and the financial incentive to restrict supply and drive up prices. Universal homeownership is a chimera, and a particularly destructive one to pursue, because once a majority of people own homes, they can shut down construction for the rest. And that is exactly what has happened. The result has been a massive transfer of wealth from younger generations to the Boomers.
There is no way to keep housing affordable in the long run except to limit homeownership to about 1/3 of the population. If 2/3 of people rent, they will demand sufficient construction.


The cost of a mortgage, the rising interest rates for loans of any kind, the cost of insurance for both homes and cars, have skyrocketed; I can't really say the same about wages. As someone on the lowest end of the wage scale I can tell you that despite what Ezra says, my wages have NOT kept pace with my rent, my car payment, my insurance, gasoline, the groceries, etc etc. I'm not young and not looking to buy a home at this point, but any thought I had of retiring has vanished along with my 401k. I'm not alone. I'm part of a growing segment of the population. And we are NOT being discussed here - it's like we don't exist or they think we're making this up. But you can't, you know. You can't make this up.


These guys are missing the mark. If the government doesn't balance the budget we pay the price. Fiat/corporate slavery. The empire is falling.


It's about disposable income. The economy seems solid because of the violent increase of debt at all levels. This too shall end.


Greedflation is a huge problem when the goods and services in question are necessary goods. I'm poor enough that I spend all of my money, living paycheck to paycheck. As prices for everything rose, I had to put the excess cost of my life on credit cards. That debt still exists even as things change for the better (not nearly fast enough).


Builders are concentrating on building apartment units and senior multi housing units. Health care costs going up while we send billions of money to other countries. We need to take care of Americans first. One reason why Americans are pissed off. As far as food, we have too many individuals having children who can barely take care of themselves, yet they expect society to help feed their children.


Fascinating discussion - my perspective (I am 69): Your discussion was rife with comments about interest rates as being really high. Well it depends how old you are. My parents (who lived through the Depression) bought their first home after WWII and paid 6% interest! During my working life interest rates were NEVER that low and were 10-19% for cars, housing, education borrowing, etc. I lived through what was thought at the time to be very high unemployment - 8%. Now we have 3.2% unemployment. The recent home loans for 4% were an amazing gift to me. I chased (kept refinancing) my home loans while they went down -how low can they go? Now they have bottomed out and have gone up a small amount. 5% home loans are a huge gift (if you are 69). My two oldest children have bought homes with 4-5.5% notes. They think they are very high interest rates. I do understand but both myself and my children are in the same economy and have different perspectives.


Appreciate that you actually say what is unwritten. As I save for a house, it is always running away from me. ... and health care? Very good and thank you. Now, if only the politicians would finally see that they haven't given a darn for about 30 years!!!!!

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For younger and/or lower income people, the situation is horrible for the upward life trajectory that they might expect. Even if the jobs/wage data is 100% as wonderful as it's made out to be, those aren't even close to making up the gap in housing costs and interest rates. The stock market also doesn't really matter unless you have tens of thousands to throw at 1 or 2 tech stocks.
This is also likely the main reason why Biden is losing lower income minority voters. It's aspirational.


You gus ignore corporate profits and the growing income & wealth gaps. our STANDARD of living is going down and you dance around this with government economic speak.


Trickle down economics and trickle down morality in religion are based on the patron-client relationship, or the divine right of power to control the good fortunes of dependents, jobs from corporations and self-righteousness privilege from God. Neither are based on the natural rights of humanity to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness (a good life well lived).


Swedish tax rates on lower middle class people are 3x higher that's the trade off. Child care is very simple there are over a billion woman around the world that would love to come to America with a special worker visa and make $15 per hour. Like the Au Pair programs when they live with the family and get all the expenses paid are the best example. But no that's illegal. There is no way you can pay childcare workers more and lower the cost to parents unless childcare workers become much more productive and that's not going to happen. Or you can subsidize it like Sweden does but we still have the pay the same amount for it just through our taxes. We already have a labor shortage and childcare is pretty low productivity and low paying so no way you will get enough workers if your only hiring Americans. It's unsolvable unless you get workers from outside of America.


Why do we let the capitalist class organize the people to serve their economic interests, rather than the people organizing capital to serve their economic interests?


I thought that the 2% inflation target was arrived at when modeling the sheep at market in New Zealand.

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It's about disposable income. The economy seems solid because of the violent increase of debt at all levels. This too shall end.


While that is no small amount for most consumers, producing the phone in America would cost more than double. One report found that producing an iPhone in the U.S. would cost around $2,400.

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If you think people are angry now, wait until people start going hungry. That's when the torches and pitchforks come out. I think it's past time for that honestly. Read or reread Grapes of Wrath.


I live in one of the most affordable apartment buildings in my city (that isn’t designated for low income). Here’s the thing, though… I’m not low income. I earn $90k or more per year. The rent is comfortable for my budget ($1,800/ month).
I have no idea how people are able to afford the average rent in my area for 2 bedroom apartments is around $2300 a month. Obviously, I could afford a higher priced unit, but I need to save for retirement and I’m over 50 so health insurance is quite expensive for my age demographic.


I seriously have no idea how people can afford rents on larger properties. Like, how many people in my region are earning more than $150,000 a year? With housing prices rising to a median of $500k and rents being about $4-5k per month for a family sized home, something isn’t adding up.


People will buy what they need. If people don't buy things that they don't need until two weeks or two months later, how is that a problem? It's only a problem in a world where natural wealth is not shared. [Not sharing natural wealth means that poor people get EVEN poorer, as the rich get richer due to their heightened ability to maneuver into the most advantageous positions from which to gain more wealth / exploit a free ride on the Commons. (We are not accounting for externalities, so much of the opportunity the economy provides for amassing wealth / making profit is related to instances where environmental costs are foisted onto the larger society, future generations and the larger community of life.)]


IF natural wealth were shared, people would be assured of a substantial minimum. There would be less pressure on central banks to 'juice the economy' by boosting the money supply. The system could be dynamically stable without manipulation of interest rates by government, if natural wealth were shared.

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Prices are going up because there is not enough competition and too much regulatory capture by companies through lobbying. The government can’t afford to spend more on social services because the defense budget sucks out about half of government receipts. America could make different choices if the political will was there. Political parties seem more interested in culture wars and manufactured problems than solving actual problems faced by ordinary people. There is a general lack of clarity on cause, effect and possible solutions.


I get the feeling that phones are a huge part of the issue. People are primed to be emotional. They keep buying the same products that are getting more expensive cause they’re addicted to them. I think that’s probably the biggest change that we’ve experienced as a society maybe ever, and just in the last 10/15 years.


Compared to other factors, I don't think phones are a big part of the squeeze that people are feeling right now. We don't spend as much on mobile phones per month as we do on groceries, or rent, or house payments, or car payments.


Increased fiat money supply. They diluted the dollar 40% in 18 months. All this on top of monopolies. If you don't own assets, including real estate, stocks, gold, and Bitcoin,yes, Bitcoin, you may be screwed.


This was very disappointing and expected; stop worshiping the vagaries of economists understanding. The food, ag, retail price gouged you can see their profits explode. So yes there is a problem guys you just can't understand what's happening. We need old retired regulator-lawyers to come back and do some anti-trust action.


This is the best good faith conversation I've heard regarding the current state of our economy. I feel Biden's issue with taking advantage of good economic numbers is the following: capitalism works really well if you're rich or upper middle class. It does not work well for you if you happen to be poor or lower middle class. The stock market being at an all-time high doesn't really matter if you don't own any stocks. Housing prices going through the roof was pretty great if you already owned a house...not great otherwise.


why does everyone assume the interest rates won't stay high for a long time?


The idea that greedflation is off the mark because it implies something evil about corporations only holds up if one believes that capitalism is not somewhat evil in and of itself. It might be a necessary evil—I don’t know enough economics to say whether other systems could work adequately at the scale of industrial societies—but capitalism provides considerable incentives for the people and organizations which comprise it to behave in ways that are morally repugnant. That’s why, for example, selling organs for transplant had to be outlawed, and why Medicaid provides free dialysis for people with inadequate kidney function (because otherwise survival to reach the front of the transplant queue would be determined by ability to pay). At least as presently constituted, capitalism doesn’t price in externalities like ‘people dying from circumstances imposed on them by others’, and by default punishes entities that would prefer not to create harmful externalities by making them less competitive. That’s evil, plain and simple.

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Also. I will believe that the economy is “good” for ordinary Americans when poor and working-class people in my city don’t commonly live in shantytowns.


Telling us what we already know. Even when inflation comes down the price of goods remain at the same higher price; example car insurance has gone up some 30% over the last few years.


One of the problems with inflation is that a person's wage increases lag monthly cost increases. At the end of the year, the company owner looks at your paycheck, says, "inflation has been 6% this year, and we'll throw in a 2% raise". Well, for 364 days of the year you've been running your household on last year's wages but prices have gone up 6%. Not only that, your savings account, which last I looked gains less than 1%/year, has lost 5% of its value.


If you are spending more while your income lags then you are a fool.
You can complain all you want but for RIGHT NOW you need to cut spending. Maybe skip getting that sweet new tattoo? How about skipping the daily $7 lattes? How about learning how to make your own sandwich at home instead of eating out? How about giving plasma to build up an emergency fund?


Many Americans don’t know that no developed economy has really grown for decades, except the U.S. The growth in the U.S. has been concentrated in some sectors and some metro areas, and that’s how capitalism typically works. For those who want to be a part of the growing sub-economy get relevant education and move to cities. Some others don’t make the right move and complain. The rest of the world knows how lucky those people are to be born in the U.S. We have a lot of economic freedom in the U.S., and blaming that the game is rigged and trying to destroy the institutions and democracy is so childish and irresponsible. White supremacy, racism, and nativist prejudice breed misguided entitlement mindsets. Basic rules, assumptions and shared preferences are where it all starts, and we need to build back shared core values and principles.


Greed: insatiable desire for food or wealth.


As of June 2024, next year's Social Security cost-of-living increase will be 2.66%. Laughable! And it's likely the Medicare Part B premium (subtracted from Social Security) will increase.


There was so much unneeded stimulus including "the build better" (or whatever it was called) that I am surprised that inflation was just 9%. Too bad this was not mentioned as a reason for the inflation...


Well somebody got that money. They must be doing OK.


In Europe, we had ever longer lockdowns, everyone had their wages covered, and there is not the same rampant inflation as in the USA. I don't understand how inflation was caused by a couple of $1,500 checks, that doesn’t even cover a month's expenses.


First of all - the checks were given to everyone, and not the only those who needed it. My family got the checks even though we continued to work remotely. Then there was also money to businesses with some of these loans forgiven. So you have it.


the housing crisis is the everything crisis. It drives up the cost of everything from policing to medical care, because the people who provide those things need a place to live too. But then they start talking about building codes and zoning - yes do this, but realize that the effects are marginal, you won't get 5 million units (I bet it's really 10m+ for 45 year olds to not need roommates to stay indoors) in the urban supermetros where people need to live to get decent jobs from zoning reform, at least not before the demand rises to a 20m unit deficit.


Building in heavily populated areas is a slow process, unless you have totalitarian control and can just evict masses of people to clear areas for building. The only real solution is
(1) slow national population growth to let the housing supply catch up
(2) geographically diversify economic activity to regions where housing exists or it's cheaper/easier to build, through industrial planning and incentives.


Having people live in tents or under bridges is not good. So 2 is the best answer, along with policies that bring economic development.


Note there's a huge amount of land tied up in parking in many cities. This is set by local zoning rules. Lower the minimum parking space counts and bulldoze some one-story strip shopping centers and suddenly there's significantly more space for building.
If land is truly scarce like in Boston, the parking can be integrated into the same building for a price.


Greedflation is a huge problem when the goods and services in question are necessary goods. I'm poor enough that I spend all of my money, living paycheck to paycheck. As prices for everything rose, I had to put the excess cost of my life on credit cards. That debt still exists even as things change for the better (not nearly fast enough).


The Scandinavian Welfare System removes some concerns for people who are low-income and less educated. It is less greedy than the USA and we have simplified some aspects of daily life for the majority of people. You have still the ability to follow your dream but worries about health care, education, child care, and social events are very reduced.


Stimy cheques, Quantitative easing money printing, deficit spending….where does this money end up ? There is a reason why the stock market and real estate went up first then food went up last. A recession is needed for all these prices to go down….sorry.


The idea that greedflation is off the mark because it implies something evil about corporations only holds up if one believes that capitalism is not somewhat evil in and of itself. It might be a necessary evil—I don’t know enough economics to say whether other systems could work adequately at the scale of industrial societies—but capitalism provides considerable incentives for the people and organizations which comprise it to behave in ways that are morally repugnant. That’s why, for example, selling organs for transplant had to be outlawed, and why Medicaid provides free dialysis for people with inadequate kidney function (because otherwise survival to reach the front of the transplant queue would be determined by ability to pay). At least as presently constituted, capitalism doesn’t price in externalities like ‘people dying from circumstances imposed on them by others’, and by default punishes entities that would prefer not to create harmful externalities by making them less competitive. That’s evil, plain and simple.


This is the best economy I've ever lived through and I'm happy as a lark.


I love the husband and wife team.


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