How Is The U.S. Economy Doing?
Begin today a little piece of audio you a mere twelve seconds. Not Too long won't be too painful but inside it. There is a whole lot to digest. Here you go. I believe that monetary policy is and a good place and should continue to support sustained growth a strong labor market and inflation running close to are symmetric two percent objective. Those those of you recognize that to be a member of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. Not too tough really given the subject matter. Go to the head of the class. If you identified the Speaker as Richard Clara the vice vice chairman of the Fed a gold star to you. Now why are we starting with him. A couple of reasons honestly number one because the Fed has been taking some heat it lately for having gotten a lot of its economic forecasting wrong. Hello inflation number. Two because Clarita said today and chair Powell says often the really the economy's pretty good number three because pugh is out with a study today. That says not everybody out in the actual economy agrees with the fat so so two interviews with which to test those premises. I about the Fed Sarah Bender. She's a professor of Political Science at George Washington University where she studies the Fed. Welcome to the program. Thanks thanks for having me. What do you make of the vice chairman speech today and more importantly how the feds sort of is positioning itself in this economy right now? Well the Fed is saying saying so far. So good The comedies on a good track Congress's given us a dual mandate of low sustainable unemployment and low inflation Kevin. And we're hitting him. He's not telling us really where things are going in the future. He's saying data dependent meeting by meeting. But he's telling telling us the economy is on a good course he Said and and chair. Paul says this all the time that they're going to you know work to keep the expansion going as as long as they can and one of the things chair Paul says and Clark said it today was that You know the longer expansion goes the more it helps people at the bottom. How much can the Fed really do though for the people at the bottom of this economy but the fence so far is doing a lot by keeping a monetary policy not so loose and accommodative right and you see wage gains at the lower end of the economic spectrum at a certain point though? There's only so much that monetary monetary policy can do and absent fiscal policies. That might say deal with job training or job relocation or healthcare. There's is only so much weight that can be put on monetary policy makers. Let me carry that forward to an interview. We're going to have here in a couple of minutes with A upholster from pugh who has a new study out today about economic inequality in this country. What can the Fed do on economic inequality which consistently ranks pretty high in terms of what what people are worried about in this economy? Well the best contribution they can make is to keep an eye on employment and do as much as they can to Stoke job growth but without sparking inflation keeping an eye on the health of the financial system so that people have access to quality and so forth at the end of the day though. It's really the limits of what monetary policy makers can do. The really simple line is heading into an election year. Right is. It's the economy stupid frame that for me in terms of the Federal Reserve and the role of the economy in the next eleven months of of our common experience. Well Congress gives the Fed to commands. Keep inflation low keep jobs growing. That's what the Fed is aiming to do. Oh here and the extent that they're successful it means the economy's growing and on an even keel in. That's what helps incumbents get reelected Sir Bender under she's At Brookings also Professor Political Science at George Washington University professor. Thanks for your time. Am I appreciate sure. Thanks for having me okay. So all of that said interview number two now from the Pew Research Center who study out today shows as I said that not. Everybody agrees that the economy is all sunshine and Light Ruth Galmoc. She is a senior researcher at Pew Rookie to have you on for having me if I say that seventy percent of respondents to this Survey that Y'all did if if I say that they believe the economy is rigged. Is that too strong word. I would say that. They think that the economy is unfairly favouring powerful special interests interests so we asked whether the economy was generally fair or whether it unfairly favored these powerful interests and seven and ten Americans that they did not think it was fair. We should point out. There's as a partisan divide here as with most things in this country now that's right. Republicans are about evenly split with about half of Republican. Same economy is generally fair and half of the economy saying unfairly early favors these special interests whereas Democrats overwhelmingly say that the economy is not fair. okay so Brass tacks your who's got the power so we asked Americans who they thought had too much power and influence in today's economy and about eight and ten or more American said that politicians Titians corporations and people who are wealthy had too much power we also had majority saying health insurance companies banks and other financial institutions and tech companies had too much cower Let me ask you then who doesn't have the power or is parallel. I suppose another way to put it. Yeah we asked to people. Apple felt did not have enough power and Americans pointed to people who were poor the middle class and interestingly small businesses. Yes say more about that because when I read this in small all businesses came up I was. That's the thing that got me on the phone with you to be honest. Yeah I'm and one interesting thing was we saw a partisan divide and how Democrats and Republicans on looked at a number of these groups. Republicans were less likely than Democrats to say that large corporations had too much power but when it came to small businesses Democrats and Republicans were largely in agreement that that small businesses did not have enough power. Today's economy. So what else do people need to know about this. I mean as they read this and they hear that you know seven ten people think the economy is is unbalanced. Silence shall we say instead of rigged. What are they supposed to do that information? It's hard to say What people are supposed to do? In this survey we did sort of dive into what Americans think about economic comic inequality in general and while most Americans say that there's too much economic inequality in the country. They didn't rank particularly highly as an issue. So it's hard to sort they how that will play out Raquel Nick. She's a senior researcher at the Pew Research Center. Thanks a lot. I appreciate your time. Thanks for having me