14 December 2023

Soft landing, phooey, let's give some credit where due

Gotta say, it's a tad rich that the NY Times headline asks "has Jerome Powell pulled off a soft landing?"  Why is it that Republican presidents get all kinds of credit if the Moon fails to crash into the Earth during their term but a Democratic president who went from 9+% inflation caused by the pandemic (and also horrible Trumpian economic policies), a weak job market mostly distorted by people not returning to work after the pandemic, and predictions of recession from nearly every economist... to 3% (near background level) inflation, a soaring financial market, lowest unemployment since WW2, real wage growth in the working and lower middle class sectors (for the first time in years), tens of thousands of new manufacturing jobs, and real infrastructure projects underway after Trump did nothing but make empty promises... gets no credit and all people do is complain about how old he is. How about acknowledging that it's Biden, not Powell, who deserves most of the credit, and that it's not a soft landing but a nearly miraculous recovery from the pandemic downturn? 

I have my disagreements with Biden, but come on, folks, how can people not see that in pretty difficult circumstances, and with absolutely zero help from Republicans, he's done a remarkable job, especially with the economy? 

Of course, we no longer have two civil parties that contest elections in good faith. We have one such party, and the other is careening towards fascism as fast as it can go, and if it succeeds, we are in for the Dark Ages. So the only real choice is between Biden and perdition. We all kinda know this, and it's very unsettling. And any of my friends (and there are some) who vote for Jill Stein, Cornel West, or RFK Jr.... well, I'll forgive them if Biden wins anyway. But if not, I don't know. I just don't know. Some stupidity, that has potentially really terrible consequences, is pretty close to unforgiveable. 

The world is going through a really difficult period, but the US is doing better than expected, and better than most other countries in terms of economic recovery. Global stability is teetering and the world desperately needs a stable and leading US government committed to democracy and fact-based policies. If we lose that, we, our entire species, will be in for a world of hurt. No question about it. 

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