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Decode the Covid economy on Thanksgiving



There are many reasons for concern about social, political and health issues. The Covid-19 cases are up in most states, again signaling that the virus is here to reside. A series of trials have demonstrated that the national character of race is as complex and intractable as ever.
And behind every political story lies the much-anticipated, effortless return of former President Donald Trump, who this time last year was plotting a coup. Sometimes these stories come together, like when Trump meets Kyle Rittenhouse, a teenager was acquitted of two murders in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last summer.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, President Joe Biden pointed out the conviction of three white men in the death of Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old Black man, as proof that “our justice system[is]doing its job.”

However, what may directly touch more Americans every day is the state of the American economy.

Here’s the disconnect between data and everyday life: People are feeling the pinch due to rising costs at gas pumps and grocery stores even as there’s plenty of very good economic news to be grateful for. .

First, almost anyone who wants a job has one. The government recorded only 199,000 VND new unemployment claims last week, the lowest level since 1969. Meanwhile, a key inflation gauge rose to Highest in 31 years in October.
CNN’s Christine Romans, in a video report, has described this Covid-19 pandemic in contradiction.

I borrowed many of her languages ​​for this list of supposedly good news, including:

  • US industrial output is running ahead above pre-pandemic levels.
  • Auto production was restored last month and factory output would be even stronger if there were no hiccups in the company’s supply chain.
  • The company’s profits are enviable and large companies are solving problems in the supply chain, which entails higher costs for customers and even increased their profit margins in the process.
  • Largest publicly traded companies have larger profit margins today than it was before the pandemic, and your retirement account can show that.
  • The Dow is up 17% this year and the S&P 500 rose 25%. If you step back further since the market crash in 2020, some averages have doubled.
  • Workers have the upper hand. You’ve heard it called “The Great Resignation” – The American quit jobs in record numbers. In September, the number 4.4 million jumped, and economists say more people are taking better jobs with higher salaries and starting bonuses.
  • Fater wages after years of slow pay rise, especially for low-wage workers. Wage growth is close to 5%.
  • Americans are saving. Thanks to higher pay, Covid-19 tests stimulus and child tax creditAmericans have over $2.3 trillion in savings since the crisis began. JP Morgan says its average checking account balance this year is 50% higher than in 2019.
  • The economy is adding jobs. Overall, 5.8 million jobs were added this year.

There is certainly a contradiction here if the national mood goes down while economic indicators rise.

In a recent CBS News poll, just 4% of Americans say things in the country are generally going very well, and 26% say they’re doing pretty well. People feel the same way about the economy: 30% of the respondents think the state of the national economy is very good or good.
It is also true that while concerns about the economy have grown, they have remained at fairly low levels in history, such as Gallup Notes.

“Inflation concerns all headlines, but most other indicators are soaring,” Romans said in its report.

She gives two reasons why consumer sentiment gauges don’t reflect strong metrics:

  • Americans are exhausted by the pandemic.
  • They are hit every day by higher prices at grocery stores and gas stations. “Everybody drives and eats; not everyone owns stocks,” she said.
It’s hard to balance those powerful stats with silly memes circulated in Washington that some Americans may not be able to afford turkeys this year because of inflation.

I asked Ariel Edwards-Levy, CNN’s poll editor, how to see the national mood, and she argued that the vote defies the obvious.

She said, “At the same time it’s true that:

  • a) concern about the growing economy,
  • b) the economy is not nearly as dominant as it was during the Great Depression,
  • c) The prevailing view of Americans about the economy today is generally quite bad and
  • d) views on the economy are closely tied to partisanship. “

The partisan factor is an important factor. Most Republicans probably have a worse view of the economy right now just because they despise Biden. Democrats may have exhibited similar behavior during the Trump administration.

Food is definitely more expensive. The American Farm Bureau Federation has gathered numbers to argue about average thanksgiving for 10 people will cost $53.31, or about $5.30 per person. Last year, its average was $46.90.

The American Farm Bureau Federation notes that turkeys are more expensive this year, but also adds an asterisk that it purchased turkeys to make these calculations before grocery stores stock up for Thanksgiving. .

When the White House press secretary Jen Psaki was asked about this being the most expensive Thanksgiving ever, she replied, “I just wanted to make it clear that there are plenty of turkeys available. They’re about a dollar more expensive for a 20-pound bird, which is a huge bird if you’re raising a very large family. And that’s it. which, again, we’ve been working on to make sure people have more money in their pockets to deal with as the economy bounces back.”

Lots of turkeys are something every American can be thankful for, even if concerned that they’re a bit more expensive.

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