Earth to GOP: Talk About Rising Costs

When it comes to economics, Republicans love talking about jobs, jobs, jobs. They cite real unemployment numbers that are far worse than what the public is told. They cite record numbers of Americans leaving the work force. They talk about cold, hard numbers.

The GOP is obsessed with talking about jobs—but why? The vast majority of voters already have a job. We also know that government doesn’t create jobs—that’s what the private sector is for—so when conservatives engage the Democrats on the jobs issue, we’re at a huge disadvantage. They get to play Santa Claus, and we’re left talking vaguely about taxes and regulations—talking points that suggest we don’t know what ordinary working families care about.

If we want to appeal to voters when we discuss economics, let’s talk about what’s impacting everyone—stagnant wages and the rapidly rising cost of living.

The phenomenon of wage stagnation has been occurring for decades—it’s actually a global phenomenon dating back to when President Nixon first pulled us off the gold standard and allowed a floating currency controlled predominantly by the unelected Federal Reserve.

That phenomenon has only worsened since the Great Recession and the advent of the Federal Reserve’s policy of zero interest rates. Wages are staying the same, and prices have been going up year after year.

Source: Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0) Source: “Measuring Working Family Stress in Relation to the Cost of Living,” JEC.

The House Joint Economic Committee, led by Rep. Kevin Brady, created a “Working Family Stress Index” that illustrates the gap between rising prices and stagnant wages. Continue Reading