Skeptics have warned of government overbreadth and the risk that deficit spending could trigger inflation, but Biden and his team of economic advisers have taken that approach nonetheless.
“It’s time to grow the economy from the bottom to the middle,” Biden said in his speech to a joint session of Congress last week, a reference to the idea that prosperity does not spill over into the economy. rich, but runs out. of a well educated and well paid middle class.
He underscored this point by pointing to workers as the dynamo of the middle class.
“Wall Street did not build this country,” he said. “The middle class built the country. And the unions have built the middle class.
Of course, the economy that brought millions of post-war families into the middle class was very different from what it is today. Jobs in manufacturing, construction and mining, once seen as the backbone of the workforce, have shrunk – as have unions who have fought aggressively for better wages and social benefits. Today, only one in 10 workers is a union member, while about 80 percent of jobs in the United States are in the service industry.
And it is these types of jobs, in health care, education, childcare, disabled and elderly care, that are expected to continue to grow at the fastest rate.
Most of them, however, do not pay the salaries of middle incomes. This does not necessarily reflect their value in an open market. Salaries for teachers, hospital staff, laboratory technicians, childcare providers, and nursing home attendants are largely determined by the government, which collects taxes to pay their salaries and sets reimbursement rates. Medicare and other programs.
These are also jobs that are occupied by a significant number of women, African Americans, Latinos and Asians.