RECOMMENDED READING
What Happened: The Trump Presidency in Review
What Next: A Multi-Ethnic, Working-Class Conservatism
Economic Justice in Post-Pandemic America?

As painful as the Covid-19 economic fallout has been, the unemployment rate today is lower — and the average rate this year has been lower — than the average during the four years of former President Barack Obama’s first term, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That is no defense of the current catastrophe — only an observation that the catastrophe is not a once-in-a-century occurrence but one to which Americans have become quite accustomed.

For struggling groups, the picture is even worse. For instance, take men with only a high school degree. In the 1990s, about 73% of them were working at any point in time. That figure fell below 70% after the 2001 recession and never bounced back. Then it fell below 65% following the Great Recession and stayed there through the long, slow recovery. When Covid struck, it went below 55%, and still remains below 60%. This decline represents 4 million fewer men working than had 1990s economic conditions persisted.

So, while ending the pandemic is obviously job one, the more consequential question for policymakers, and for presidential candidates Donald Trump and Joe Biden, is not how to get out of this particular mess but rather how to change the course of an economy that, through booms and busts, has been leaving much of the population behind.

Continue Reading at CNN
Oren Cass
Oren Cass is the executive director at American Compass.
@oren_cass
Recommended Reading
What Happened: The Trump Presidency in Review

Ross Douthat, Rachel Bovard, Oren Cass, and Arthur Bloom discuss what happened: the degree to which personnel is policy, how the economy performed during the Trump presidency, and what a forward-looking, post-Trump agenda should encompass.

What Next: A Multi-Ethnic, Working-Class Conservatism

Senator Marco Rubio and Congressman Anthony Gonzalez join American Compass executive director Oren Cass for a conversation about how to build a conservative agenda that appeals to a multi-ethnic, working-class base.

Economic Justice in Post-Pandemic America?

A conversation about the post-pandemic U.S. economy, hosted by City College of New York’s Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership