Discover more from Hopium Chronicles By Simon Rosenberg
Inflation Down Again, Workers Are Happier, Ds Need A Big Reform Agenda, MAGA So Ugly And Awful
My Next Monthly Political Briefing Is Tuesday, May 16th at 1pm EST
Got a few things I’m thinking about and working on this morning:
Political Briefing Next Tuesday - My monthly political briefing and discussion is next Tuesday at 1pm EST. RSVP for Zoom links here. For those who can’t make it live, it will be recorded and posted here at Hopium on Tuesday afternoon. Sure is a lot to talk about!
Inflation Down - The White House’s Jesse Lee shared graph yesterday and wrote: “Zooming in on the past few months of inflation, the 3-month change in headline CPI (annualized) is below 4% and back down in the range of when Biden came into office. Yes, driven in part by lower by food and energy prices, but doubt many people are complaining about that.” There are a lot of ways to cut the inflation data but yesterday’s data seemed unequivocally positive and may make further Fed’s rate hikes less likely.
That inflation is easing while the economy continues to grow of course makes the current Republican efforts to push us into recession and default look even more reckless and ridiculous.
“Workers Are Happier Than They’ve Been in Decades” - A new exclusive report from the Wall Street Journal (yes a paywall) has some encouraging news (h/t Aaron Sojourner):
Job satisfaction hit a 36-year high in 2022, reflecting two effects of the tight pandemic labor market: The quality of jobs improved as wages and work flexibility increased, and workers moved into positions that were a better fit.
Last year, 62.3% of U.S. workers said they were satisfied with their jobs, according to new data from the Conference Board, up from 60.2% in 2021 and 56.8% in 2020. The business-research organization polled workers on 26 aspects of work, and found that people were most content with their commutes, their co-workers, the physical environment of their workplace and job security.
As this data becomes more public and easier to access I will be returning to it, for I have long believed the way people in politics poll about the economy needs a serious rethink. Too much has been going right in the US economy in recent years for people to be so down.
The Ugliness of MAGA Remains the Biggest Issue in American Politics - It’s been a particularly ugly week for MAGA, and another confirmation of why we need to be thinking about going big this year, expanding our coalition, claiming more political real estate and Get to 55. But rather than dwelling on their historic, escalating awfulness this morning, let’s admire the communications chops of Team Biden who nailed it last night:
Dems Need A Big Reform Agenda - Biden’s framing of the election as “more freedom/less freedom” is strong and powerful. But I’ve been thinking as we watch the party of Trump/Santos do its thing that we should be working on a big reform/anti-corruption/clean up Washington agenda. I always thought the slogan of the Clinton-Gore reinventing government initiative was terrific - “a government that works better and costs less.” An agenda like this would be very complimentary to the pro-democracy/freedom initiatives that are more fully developed inside the party. Let’s talk about this in the coming months. Interested to get your thoughts.
On That WaPo/ABC Poll - I put some thoughts about that poll into a post yesterday (it was a bad poll, ignore, move on), and have been talking to reporters about it all week. The Hill ran with this passage:
Another prominent Democrat, veteran political strategist Simon Rosenberg, who predicted his party’s success in the midterms against the conventional polling wisdom, said there are more indicators now that point to Democrats’ momentum.
The party gets better organized each cycle and some of the unexpected wins in 2022 were built on the groundwork laid in 2018 and 2020, he said. More engagement, grassroots volunteers, and small-dollar donations are pouring in to help fuel the party in a way he argues the GOP is underestimating.
“Commentators have to be very cautious about gauging intensity levels in this next election,” Rosenberg said.
The roiling politics of abortion are another factor, something seen in Wisconsin, where Biden narrowly defeated Trump in the last election. After the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, voters came out in support of the Democratic candidate for state Supreme Court.
“You’ve now had three consecutive elections where Democrats’ performance has been at the upper end of what’s been possible for us,” Rosenberg said.
Keep working hard all - Simon