If The Economy Is Great, Why Aren’t We?

If The Economy Is Great, Why Aren’t We?


The economy is doing great.
At least that’s what my parents tell me over the phone while I’m driving from my day job to my night job.
I’m Francesca Fiorentini, and in this episode of Newsbroke,
we’re looking at the difference between the economy doing well and how people are doing in it
—a difference as stark as the Instagram me versus the real me.
You don’t even want to know.
We’re digging into the useless measurements that define our trickle down economy
and then looking at another way to gauge a healthy society. Can you guess which country is doing the best?
Sure, he could be a Manchurian Candidate who inspires white supremacists,
but Trump has got the economy down.
The Trump economy is the envy of the world.
The Trump economy keeps winning.
It’s the most successful economy in modern history.
The miracle of the Trump economy.
Now in the Trump economy. Everybody wins.
A miracle?
Everybody wins?
When the economy sounds like a Ponzi scheme you can bet it probably is.
All I need is $15,000 from you upfront and in ten years
…you’ll be delivering four GrubHub.
Statistically the economy is doing well, since Trump has taken office.
The country’s GDP has grown every quarter at an average of 2.6 percent.
Unemployment is at a near 50-year low and the stock market gained by 31percent.
And yet sometimes it feels like the real reason we hear so much about the economy
is because it’s the only part of the Trump administration that isn’t an unmitigated trainwreck.
It’s like if the waiters at Applebee’s bragged about the one dish they brought you that doesn’t have pubes in it.
Those tots are solid.
[laughter]
The problem lies in how we talk about the economy,
like earlier I told you the economy was doing well by citing GDP,
unemployment and the stock market. And maybe your eyes kind of just glaze over a bit
and you generally accepted what I was saying was probably pretty good,
like anything Pete Buttigieg says.
But few of us understand what those things actually mean.
Because when you start to look into the measurements of a so-called good economy
you learn how incredibly disconnected they are from our everyday lives and well-being.
Let’s start with the wonkiest one that gets thrown around a lot:
Gross Domestic Product, or GDP.
GDP is a stat that is so dry and boring
that high school economic students are finding any way possible to spice it up.
[background music] GDP GDP GDP GDP GDP GDP GDP
[The Beatles’s “Yesterday” on piano]
Five components make up GDP.
[Paul McCartney’s “Blackbird” on guitar] Today we’re gonna learn about GDP
Gross Domestic Product you will see
Okay, we all did bad parody songs in high school
but as a Beatles fan those last ones hurt. That’s like if instead of dropping acid and writing Sgt. Pepper’s,
they developed an app.
GDP is what most pundits refer to when they say blanket things like “The economy is growing.”
It calculates the final value of goods and services that a country produces.
But there are a bunch of problems with that calculation.
First, it factors in negative value, like buying things for bad reasons.
Let’s say you were in a 500-year flood and had to swim to the Home Depot to buy
bamboo and zip ties for a makeshift raft. The GDP could actually go up.
the GDP also doesn’t show the distribution of proceeds earned from goods and services,
whether there’s any equity between people in a country.
Using higher GDP to say all people are doing better is like if LeBron James entered your home
and increase the gross domestic height,
so I congratulated you for getting taller.
By the way, LeBron, you’re invited to my home whenever you like.
That makes sense right now because, while GDP and the US might be up, so is inequality.
I know you’re used to hearing it come out of this guy’s mouth,
but it bears repeating: Right now the top 10 percent of Americans has about 9 times as much income
as the bottom 90 percent.
That’s insane.
So yes while GDP might show there’s more wealth being made…
Almost all of the wealth and much of the income is going to the top 1 percent.
I had to let the guy do his thing.
GDP as a statistic is so detached from reality that even economists at the World Economic Forum in Davos
—which is basically spring break for the 1 percent—
called it a poor way of assessing the health of our economies that needs to be replaced
That’s the equivalent of a pig in sh[bleep]t going,
“Hey!
…This is sh[bleep]t, huh.”
Then there’s unemployment which, as of August, is at 3.7 percent,
I mean unemployment is at record lows.
I don’t think that that tells the whole story.
When you can’t provide for your kids working a full-time job—working two full-time jobs.
When you can’t have health care that is not a—that is not dignified.
Ooh. Telling the blue-eyed Silver Fox of television news that something isn’t dignified
is the way to get to Anderson Cooper.
That and telling him that he’s a knockoff Trivago guy.
But AOC is right.
Unemployment, which fun fact is actually going up in states that voted for Trump,
is a figure that doesn’t factor in a bunch of things.
Like the number of people who are underemployed, which an IMF study shows is going up around the world.
There are about 4.4 million underemployed Americans left out of the unemployment numbers,
which is more underemployed people than before the Great Recession.
These are people working part-time jobs because your manager at Pier 1 Imports
would rather hire someone else and give either of you full-time work and benefits.
Meanwhile, he keeps telling you “Well, we’ll just see how you do with the pillow pyramid.”
Unemployment numbers are also problematic
because they only count the people who are actively seeking work.
One study found that despite low unemployment, there’s a quote:
“perverse underlying trend” of people dropping out of the workforce altogether by simply giving up.
Unemployment is like counting single people by those who are actively dating.
What about those who’ve just given up and want to stay home and binge “Big Little Lies,” not live it?
And of course, none of this has to do with whether Americans are making enough to make ends meet.
In 2017, 40 percent of all Americans had trouble affording basic necessities
like food, health care or housing.
That’s partly why so many people have more than one job,
but that’s not factored into any conversation about the economy either.
How many times have you been in a lift and heard…
I only drive from 4:00 a.m to 10:00 and then I head to the call center and a DJ at night.
Yeah. Yeah. Sleep?
Nah, I’ll sleep when I’m dead, which hopefully won’t happen while you’re still in the car, hahaha
Gum?
And finally, there’s the stock market,
which has also been doing fairly well under Trump, and yet only the richest 10 percent of Americans
own about 90 percent of all stock. And so few of us understand how it even works.
Let’s hear one hedge fund manager explain it using a dog-walking analogy.
You got a guy. He’s got a leash.
There’s a dog on the other end of it.
They’re walking in the same direction. If you observe the way the man crosses the park,
his stride—It’s fairly straightforward.
The man walking the dog is the economy. Then when you think about what the dog is doing…
The dog is running around like a lunatic. It darts to the left. It darts to the right. It strains on the leash.
That’s the stock market.
Train your dog, brah.
That analogy makes some sense if you think about how every time the stock market takes a sh[bleep]t,
we’re all forced to clean it up.
While it humps our leg.
Let me offer a more accurate analogy:
The stock market is essentially a confusing casino game played by just a few people
speculating on everyone else’s money.
Which means most Americans are that kid
helplessly watching our father gamble away our college fund at Caesar’s Palace.
Sure I’ll blow on your dice, pops.
[blows]
Come on. Daddy needs a new…
…daddy.
Okay, so if it’s not GDP or unemployment figures or the stock market,
how do we know how we’re doing economically?
Well, we could look at prices:
how rent is skyrocketed, health care expenses are gouging our incomes,
college tuition has doubled since the 1980s, or just look at wages.
They haven’t gone up in 40 years, and when they have they’ve benefited the highest earners,
so much so that now the average CEO makes 361 times more than their average employee.
To be fair, that’s the average CEO.
Don’t forget about the up and coming CEOs
who only make a hundred times more than their average employee.
The struggle is real.
How about using new metrics altogether?
Take New Zealand. Their Prime Minister just introduced a so-called “well-being budget,” which uses 61 different
indicators, like loneliness, to track how their country is doing in order to boost mental health,
reduce poverty and reduce carbon emissions.
Also,
everyone gets a sheep.
I made that up, but probably.
Or what about the Happy Planet Index, developed by one statistician, that calculates a country’s well-being
using a variety of global data. Where does the US rank?
Number one…
…hundred and eighth.
What country has held the number one spot?
Costa Rica.
Their government is one of the first to commit to be carbon neutral by 2021.
They abolished the army in 1949.
And they invested in social programs: health and education.
They have one of the highest literacy rates in Latin America and in the world.
And they have that Latin vibe, don’t they?
Okay, a little fetishization there but not wrong.
Maybe that’s what Trump’s anti-immigrant stances are really about.
They’re bringing drugs. They’re rapists
and they’ve got that Latin vibe that says “I’m just going to throw together some arepas on a Friday night
and invite my neighbors over whose names I all know, and at some point someone will break out a guitar,
and everyone will know how to dance the Macarena.
Not in my America!
But damn, Costa Rica?
So you’re saying all we have to do to do well is
dismantle the military, fund education, health care and green energy—Psh!
We got that!
It’s time to get rid of these measurements that only work for rich people
and stop clinging on to trickle-down economics,
which clearly don’t work.
We need new parameters to gauge the well-being of our country.
If for no other reason than to save the Beatles from being butchered.
[singing] Eight days a week
is not enough to pay my rent.
Help! I need some money!
Help! Not my parents money!
Whisper words of surplus
GDP
[laughter]
Hey, thanks so much for watching Newsbroke. We got a little silly. Hopefully you learned something.
[singing] Aahhhh look at all the jobless people.
Follow us on Facebook, on Instagram and on YouTube.
Let me know in the comments below what you think a good measurement for a healthy economy should be.
And next week we are talking about climate change and capitalism.
We will see you next week.

100 thoughts on “If The Economy Is Great, Why Aren’t We?”

  1. The economic recovery is a scam. The Fed is a scam and it's all built on that. The economy has been a scam since 1913. Look it up. "Trickle down" should be a clue.

  2. What if we – bold statement here – focused on solving the root problems our country is facing instead of layering on Band-Aids that do nothing to stop the bleeding?

  3. A friend of mine in Russia would often say "our country is rich, but our people are poor." He was talking about wealth inequality and government corruption there, but I think it is an appropriate saying now for the USA as well

  4. Andrew Yang is the only candidate addressing this. His long form interviews are the best way to know his policies. Like on the Joe Rogan Podcast, The Breakfast Club, H3H3 Podcast, WMUR Conversation With the Candidate, SXSW Panel, Georgetown University Q&A and many more.

  5. Uh, how many sick, homeless, adults living in their parents basements and imprisoned people there are might be a good measure of how well were doing.

  6. When is the people of USA going to WAKE UP?
    What you have in the White House is a group of LIARS, CONMEN. They don't give s shit about US economy nor its people.
    These are guys that is raised on a silver platters. So what is so surprising when some Snake Oil salesmen advertised their products or fake achievement.
    Now you know why USA is declining and folks in Russia and China will have better in living in the coming years.
    Wise and competent leaderships under Putin and Xi.

  7. Actually supply side is a spectacularly successful policy. Just not if you're us. All public policies both succeed and fail. It's just a question of for whom, how and to what extent.

  8. Sorry but you are completely wrong. Good job on the video. But you know nothing about macro and microeconomics. So please educate yourself before you spew shit.

  9. I retired from a job that paid well, had health insurance. I started working for the minimum wage, part time. What I saw was Engineer's, who were laid off permantly working two jobs, and only manage to pay the rent nothing else. I worked with people who had a college education, putting dirt in the trunks of other people's cars. Then washed up to do cashier work at a local store. I seen people commit suicide, lack of healthcare, unable to afford healthcare. This is worse now!!! I don't envy people graduating and trying to find decent employment…🗽🎈🐒

  10. We need to VAT 5% for In-N-OUT. They make a low estimate of 600 Million. 30 million would definitely assist with this. They are automating EVERYTHING but the last bit which is humans.

  11. a good measurement is to gauge the average hourly wage to the average cost of living in ever city in amerca, and that will determine how good the economy is

  12. because the economy in all reality is not good despite what trump says I've seen a ton of businesses close down both local and national and uber/lyft/ food delivery services do not make a strong economy.

  13. because you are deluded libtards that can't admit things are good because your hate for Trump is hysterical.

  14. Just think, if all nations came together for the greater good of the people we could reach type 1 civilization in no time. 👌

  15. Costa Rica can afford to invest into social welfare programs, because the U.S. military is protecting them. With your taxpayer money… Just like most of the European states. If America stopped protecting these states, then most of them would collapse. Because who knew investing in your own national security was a thing? The welfare state starts to collapse when you have to put money into things that aren't welfare programs. Who knew?

  16. Love this gurl! Intelligent, Informative and downright hilarious! The fact that she’s also beautiful is just the icing on the cake.

  17. Could've just mentioned changing costs & evolving markets. Only worth watching is the part about increasing gap between the wealthy & not.

    Not sure that you can easily detract the rally & the wellness of the economy. Like how you said that GDP is inadequate as a measure. Sure. That's well known (it's just a big sum). That's why we have GDP PPP as a much more accurate measure. With all those that's looking fault in the economy in the current administration, they would be looking at & citing faults with other indicators. With nobody doing this, it's then hard to contend what's been said here.

  18. The numbers do not take into account how many adults with a varying spectrum of disabilities are struggling with job security and needs met.

  19. Let's not forget that the Trump and Trump supporter rhetoric of "Black unemployment is at an all-time low" is nothing more than white people's way of saying "Black men in charge can't help black people. Only a white man can do it."

    If the low black unemployment rate was so significant, they wouldn't be the faces of the payday loan racket.

  20. I guarantee the people disliking these videos aren't watching them all the way through. Even when broken down to their simplest form, complete with comedy, music, and a charismatic host, facts are like kryptonite to them.

  21. Don't think I'm in the 1[% in fact I know I'm not, but I am doing better now than I was when Obama was in office.
    As far as Bernie is concerned he won't even pay his own people decently but he is a millionaire.

  22. "Can you guess which country is doing the best?"
    Come one guys, this question is way too easy! Somewhere in the northern (more northern than Germany and the Netherlands) part of Europe, probably Norway.

    I haven't seen the video after the intro yet, as far as I understand the biggest problem is that most of the money flows to the 1% while most of the people have less to spend (adapted for inflation and all that) than a few decades ago.

    Edit: Costa Rica, really?

  23. A good measurement for the economy? Percentage of people who have no financial worries, live in a proper home, can get first class education and healthcare…
    I would like to include the amount of nature (area, number of trees, a number of parameters) per 100000 people in the economy statistics somehow.

  24. This is all nice but you have to confront reality. If you want to ACTUALLY INCREASE INCOME in this economy Americans need to learn how to invest in the economy and invest in themselves. This could be done by education and job training. Americans need to end or fixation with new things and improve the real estate and infrastructure we have while learning from the problems they have created. We need desperately to halt the growth of suburbia. It forces the middle and upper middle class together and as a result they aren’t able to spend and invest there money adequately in underinvested neighborhoods. We need more and higher density housing so rent won’t increase as fast. But most off all we need smaller businesses.

  25. The main problem I see in this economy is that business is too big. And thus they have little room to grow. If we invested in people and startups. This could bring a substantial amount more income and employment cause as it stands right now American big business is maxed out.

  26. Wow this is bad. Why not debate an economist with this terrible information? If you take a job paying less than what is needed for your cost of living, the options are either become a higher skilled worker and qualify for a better job, finds ways to lower your costs of living or take additional jobs. There’s a large shortage of trade workers, because Americans were brainwashed into college. Tech jobs are also booming. Don’t get mad now because you majored in Sociology, Music or English and can’t find a decent job. Steve Jobs dropped out of college and became extremely wealthy. This is a YOU problem, not a GOVERNMENT problem.

  27. You are really good. I will be embedding your clips at Progressiveways.com . Good to see you don't have to be an old fart to be Beatles fan too 🙂

  28. Great economy, stagnant wages🤔hmmm. Is this the equality that the dominant society keeps bragging about? I don't see any gold yellow brick road.👎🏿

  29. You American nut cases spend $2.2 BILLION PER DAY on MILITARY. What planet is after the US. Every major city has homeless people – I guess military spending this does not "trickle down" to the homeless. Even 10% of this figure is $220,000,000 EVERY DAY. People in your country die every day because they can't afford health care.
    The US is where immature souls are sent. Greed is your problem and it's more addictive than Heroin.

  30. Andrew Yang is way ahead of ya! He's been running on changing how we measure our economy for years! His book, The War on Normal People talks a lot about how we should be measuring our economy by wealth inequality, life expectancy, suicide rates, marriage rates, rent cost, things that actually matter. Yang understands better than any candidate what the economy of tomorrow needs to look like.

  31. You’re perfect 👌 and hilarious 😂 you can quit your day job oh and your night job too! And just do stand up. Or better yet replace Fallon. New sub here.

  32. Who are those 255 haters that gave a thumbs down?! Probably 255 oligarchs, would be 256 but Jeffery Epstein evidently beat himself to death the other day.

  33. It's because Trump is just boosting himself, Wall Street & the rich corporations & giving the rich even more tax cuts so they don't have to pay any money in taxes.

  34. everything looks good when u r living the american dream……….remember…in order to dream u have to be sleeping…….

  35. Truth, but I am still voting Trump2020. These prejudice, over breeding, mass populating, non assimilating, Latin immigrants have got to go. ☝

  36. TRUMP BORROWED 5 TRILLION ON THE NATIONAL CREDIT
    CARD AND GAVE IT TO CORPORATE HEADS OFFICIALLY THATS

    PUT 5 TRILLION IN THE ECONOMY SO ITS DOING GREAT.
    BUT ITS ACTUALLY DEBT AND THE PEOPLE WHO GOT IT WONT BE PAYING THAT DEBT OFF YOU WILL AS WILL YOUR CHILDREN AND YOUR CHILDREN S CHILDREN.
    WHAT THATS LIKE FOR AN ECONOMY IS MAXING OUT YOUR CREDIT CARD AND SAYING LOOK IM DOING GREAT IVE GOT ALL THIS STUFF BUT THE DEBT COLLECTOR IS ON THE WAY. IN THIS
    CASE THE DEBT COLLECTOR IS A RESCISSION. WELL HOPEFULLY

    A RESCISSION NOT A DEPRESSION EITHER WAY ITS COMING

  37. Buying and selling stock is not hard to understand. The dog analogy was a failed attempt to explain mean reversion. Investing in stock can be done if you have significant investment capital to work with. If your working a jobjob probably you can't afford but a $5000 account. If you make 50% ROI, that's seen as a great performance. So you only made $2500 at the end of the year minus ~20% in capital gains tax. This is why people gamble and or dump all their savings into high risk investments.

  38. Wow just wow. You're just a mad shit talker.
    A bunch of filler in the video and you don't seem to even understand the basics of economics.
    So much propaganda.

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