With inflation skyrocketing, gas prices through the roof, and small businesses closing around the clock, millions of Americans are suffering in today's economy. But that didn’t stop the New York Times for doing what it does best: spinning the news to fit its ideological goal. In a recent piece, the Times actually argued Americans are benefitting from Biden’s economic policies, calling it an economic ‘boom’ that Republicans are trying to hide. In this clip, Glenn dissects the piece…
TranscriptBelow is a rush transcript that may contain errors
GLENN: Are you ready, Stu?
This is good news. This is good news.
STU: I'm excited.
GLENN: This is the era of great political division. Dramatic cultural upheaval, but much more quietly. It's been a time of great financial reward for a large number of Americans.
STU: Oh, yeah.
GLENN: Now, I want you to remember, the class warfare that has been going on. Okay?
I want you to remember also, that the truth is, wealthy Americans are getting wealthier. Everybody else is not. But we're not going to learn that in this. We're going to be corrected. For the 158 million people who have been employed.
Prospects haven't been this bright since men landed on the moon. And as many as half of those workers have retirement accounts that were fattened by a prolonged bull market and stocks.
There are 83 million owner occupied homes now in the United States. And at the rate they've been increasing in value, a lot of them are, in fact, giant piggy banks, that families live inside. This boom does not get celebrated much. Oh, no. Because it was a slow build phenomena in a country where news is stale within hours. It's happened during a time of fascination, with the schemes of the truly wealthy. See Elon Musk. And against the backdrop of increased inequality. If you were unable to buy a house because of spiraling prices, the storing amount of homeowner's equity is really a comfort.
The queasy stock market might be signaling the boom is ending, a slowing economy, renewed inflation, high gas prices, rising interest rates, could all undermine the gains achieved over the last few years. But for the moment, this flood of wealth is quietly redefining retirement. Helping fuel Silicon Valley and stoking the boom in leisure and entertainment. It's boosting corporate profits by unprecedented amounts by also giving just about everyone else the notion that a better job is just within reach. More than 4.5 million workers voluntarily quit in March. That's the highest number since the government started keeping statistics.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics, reported last week, a few years ago, the monthly total was between 3 million and 3.5 million. It's now 4.5.
GLENN: Maybe it's easier to focus on the negative. But a huge number of people, maybe 40 million houses have been doing pretty well, says Dean Baker, an economist, and cofounder of the Liberal Leading Center for Economic and Policy Research. You would have to go back to the late 1990s to find anything like this. Before that, the 1960s. This wide-spread wealth -- this wide-spread wealth, according to the New York Times, throws light on why the number of workers who say they expect to be working past their early 60s, has fallen below 50 percent for the first time. It accounts for the abundance of 1 billion-dollar startups known as unicorns.
Wow, that's the -- that's the little guy, winning there. The 1 billion-dollar startups.
STU: Just the average Joe, taking his lunch box. And his blue shirt to his tech startup.
GLENN: That's right. More than 1,000 now, up from 200 in 2015. It offers a reason for the rise in interest and unionizing companies, from Amazon, to Apple, to Starbucks. As hourly workers seek to claim their share. And it helps explain why Dwight and Denise --
STU: Wait. Wait. The sign of prosperity is that workers have tried to seek their share? Doesn't that mean they don't have their share?
GLENN: No. They're living in a giant piggy bank right now. So they can't get out.
STU: But they can't find money. They're seeking it.
GLENN: No. They have it all in their house in the piggy bank. They live in a giant piggy bank. Are you listening?
STU: Well, you said 40 million households are doing well. But there's 124 million households in the United States. What about the other 84 --
GLENN: Okay. Mr. Gray cloud. And it helps explain how Dwight and Denise MacInson just returned from a 12-day cruise through Germany.
STU: You know, I had not considered the Dwight and Denise MacInson part of the economy.
GLENN: Well, listen. Our net worth has reached the millionaire level due to our investments.
STU: Wow, congratulations.
GLENN: Which was unfathomable when we were married 40 years ago, said Mr. MacInson, 76, who is retired from the U.S. Forest Service.
GLENN: The couple who live near Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, have a company. There are 22 million U.S. millionaires Greta Swies estimates -- estimates. Up from a fewer than 15 million in 2014. Isn't that great?
STU: Well, that is great. That part is great. That does not necessarily mean the economy is currently healthy.
STU: When you're talking about investments, how you're getting the MacInson family on to this wonderful 12-day cruise, that doesn't seem like when the markets are tumbling, is the time to brag about that. What am I missing?
GLENN: Oh, my gosh, Stu.
You're missing the enlightenment that is coming from the New York Times, okay?
Some would have concentrated on, wait a minute. 22 million U.S. millionaires. Up from 15 million in 2014. Some might point out that the New York Times, has always hated stats like that. But I'm not going to do that.
GLENN: Mrs. MacInson says, I use coupons to buy things. One of my daughters would say, mom, that's so embarrassing. But we believed in saving. How she uses coupons too.
Every economic transaction has several sides. No one thought home prices in 2000, were particularly cheap. But in the last six years, prices have risen by the total value of all housing in 2000.
In many areas in the country, it has been practically impossible for renters to buy a house. This fracturing society, even as the overall home ownership rate in 2020 rose to 65.5 percent, the rate for black Americans have severely lacked.
At 43.4 percent. It's even lower, 44.2 percent, in 2010. The rate for Hispanics, was only marginally better. This disparity might account for a muted sense of achievement. It's a time of prosperity. A time of abundance. Yet, it doesn't seem that way. Says the vice president of enterprise research at black knight. Sean and Stephanie Macaulay said the value of their house just 20 miles North of Seattle shot up 50 percent since they bought it just a couple of years ago.
We were very fortunate now, given the situation, for many others during the pandemic. He works for a data orchestration company. Somehow, we're doing even better financially. And it feels a bit awkward. Even for those doing a bit well, the economy feels precarious, however.
The University of Michigan's veneral index of consumer sentiment fell in March, the same levels as 1979. And politicians have been mostly quiet about the boom. Listen to this: Why?
Because Republicans aren't anxious to give President Biden the credit for anything, said Mr. Baker, the economist. The Democrats can post about how many people have jobs and strong wage growth at the bottom. But they seem really reluctant to do this, knowing that so many people are hit by inflation.
Oh. So they have -- they don't want to rub people's noses in it. That's the only reason why he's not taking a victory lap, is because he knows people are suffering. He wants to connect with them for him
The initial coronavirus outbreak ended the longest U.S. economic expansion in modern history after 128 months, a dramatic downturn began. The federal government stepped in, generously spreading cash around. Spending habits shifted as people stayed home.
The recession ended after two months, and the boom resumed. Jerome Powell, federal reserve chair recently warned that there were too many employers chasing too few workers. Saying the labor market is tied to an unhealthy level. Well, that's probably because everyone is so rich now. We learned that, you know, what was -- 4 million?
STU: 40 million households are doing well. Just the other 80 million households.
GLENN: So a decade ago, the housing market was in chaos. Between 2007 and 2015, more than 7 million homes were lost to foreclosure.
But that was because they were egged on by lenders. And people lived in houses that they couldn't afford. But now the reverse is true. People own much more of their homes than they used to. While the banks own less.
And that acts as a shield, against foreclosures, which in 2019, were only 144,000. During the pandemic, the foreclosure mostly ceased due to moratoriums. That's parenthetically speaking, of course. The equity available to home owners reached nearly $10 trillion at the end of 2021.
That's double what it was at the height of the 2006 bubble. Oh, that makes me feel better.
Because we know, 2006, I mean, that's double. Of course, we're trouble of the value of all of the homes. Just the increase, is double than the value of all of the homes in America. At full price, in 2000. So I don't know exactly what that means, especially since 2006. We were double that, and then we had a huge bubble that broke. Anyway, for the average American mortgage holder, that amounts to $185,000, before hitting loan to value tripwires. That figure is up, $48,000 in a year. That's what the American family earns annually. Wow.
Even new homeowners feel an economic boost. We've never had enough for a down payment. But then, Stu. The summer of 2020, we got a good tax return. We got a stimulus check.
And we had a little money in the bank. So this is according to Magalay Pena, 41, an architect for the federal government. She and her husband bought a townhome in the Miami suburb of Homestead. She's a first generation immigrant from Nicaragua. She likes to check out the estimated value of her home and her neighbors on the real estate website, Redfin.
Sometimes I check it every day, or every three days. It's been crazy. Everything skyrocketed. In 2006, homeowners cashed in their equity.
Sometimes, they use the money to double down on another house or two. In 2022, there is little sense of excess.
Brian Carter, an epidemiologist in Atlanta, said he and his wife, Deserie had about $250,000 in equity in their home. They didn't plan to draw on it. I was 27 in 2007. I watched a lot of people lose their houses, because they couldn't leave their equity alone. That included my next-door neighbor, and family across the street. I don't want to worry like that.
In May 2000, the entrepreneur Kurt Anderson said raising money for a media startup called Inside, was as easy, excuse the expression, as getting sex in 1969. That was just a few weeks after the stock market peaked. Seventeen months and one merger inside, shut down. Wow. In 2000, the startup downturn was the first sign of a wider economic trouble. This time, it may simply be that people are doing too well. U.S. households are in the best shape in 30 years. But does it matter? Oh, my gosh.
STU: It's such great news. I came in today, a little down. I did. I just saw that the -- the inflation numbers were worse than expected.
GLENN: Oh, no. It was only going to go up pointed four.
GLENN: So like 8.1, is what I think they were expecting.
STU: Yeah. I know one of the numbers -- it was up just a little higher. I think they expectedly 6 percent. And they got 6.2. Which, of course, is doing wonders for the markets. Once again. This Joe Biden, economy is so vibrant. Sometimes, and this is something that people don't consider. Sometimes the vibrancy of this economy, blinds people, and they click the sell button, instead of the buy. That's what's going on.
People have so much money, they want to buy more, and because of this vibrancy. They're clicking the sell button.
GLENN: That's what they're saying.
STU: That's going to clear themselves up, soon. This is just a transitory issue, that will be over in moments. It's probably over hardware.
I mean, it's not quite reflected yet. But soon it will be --
GLENN: I just want you to know, anybody who says -- who talks down this economy, really ought to be censored. I mean, for disinformation. Probably even malinformation.
GLENN: You know, they know exactly what they're doing. They just don't want to give Joe Biden credit. No. I'm different.
Believe me. I'm going to give Joe Biden all the credit he deserves.