Joe Biden enjoyed another monster job report this month. The economy gained 678,000 jobs. Employment is, according conventional standards, nonexistent (3.8%). There was also a significant rise in Black employment, a key political indicator for Democrats.
We are basically in a boom that will, as it expands, weaken the inflation story that the GOP has made into its main flag for its charge into the midterms. The flaw in that story? The economy is growing.
This means the stagflation argument (i.e. no or negative growth with rising inflation), which helped the right regain power in a toxic post-Nixon world, is presently hard to push. There is also the real risk that prices might start falling as the economy continues expanding during the second-half of 2022. If such is the case — and, under the current circumstances, it is a real possibility — this would relegate the GOP to rural voters, which would spell catastrophe for their mid-term hopes of regaining both chambers. The target of the inflation story is the suburbs. Rural voters can be reduced to nothing but a drumstick, and will still vote for a Trump.
Breaking News: Hiring in the U.S. sped up in February, with employers adding 678,000 jobs, as falling Covid cases brought customers and workers back. https://t.co/dgGKj7UZM4
— The New York Times (@nytimes) March 4, 2022
So, why are these numbers important to me? Because we are in a desperate race to save the planet for our kind and for kind like ours. Look at our options. There is a scenario that Biden loses the Houses and basically only has transient executive powers for his remaining two years in office. There is the scenario that Trump returns to power, a reality whose conclusion, considering the environmental crisis, can be seen in Don't Look Up. At this point, our best option is that Biden makes gains in both Houses and can finally institute a program that increases government investment in renewable energy, such as Build Back Better, which is not a far cry from a Green New Deal.
Socialists, I love you. But I'm going to say it like it is. We are at the mercy of moderate Dems whose ear is open to progressives like Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal.
Personally, I do not like jobs reports (we work too much as it is), nor mainstream Dems. But under the current state of affairs, I can't see a way out of (see an adjacent possible to) the climate catastrophe, which will certainly impact the poor in the Global South the hardest, than a state-managed capitalism that maintains its class struggle objectives without liberating carbon. Sorry to sound so pitiful.