Welcome to the Tuesday, a weekly newsletter about politics, language, and culture, though you may be happy to know that that is not usually the order of priority. The Tuesday is available only to NRPlus members — no scrubs! If you would like to join our happy if sometimes cantankerous community — and I hope you will — you can sign up here.
Having experienced a GDP contraction of about 1.5 percent in the last quarter, the United States may be on its way to a formal recession — two or more consecutive quarters GDP contraction — but, even if that turns out not to be the case, many economists forecast that the country is headed for a recession in the near future. As Bloomberg sees it, the spike in consumer prices has the United Kingdom enduring a “recession in all but name,” and you could say as much about the United States.
Of particular concern is the metric of “real” — meaning inflation-adjusted — wages, which declined by 1.7 percent between January of 2021 and January of 2022, and which have continued to decline over the course of this year, most recently falling by 0.6 percent in April. With real wages declining and household wealth being eaten into by declining share prices and home values, Americans’ real standard of living is under siege. It is bad when Americans report that they are feeling uneasy or pessimistic about the economy, as expressed in such metrics as the consumer-confidence index, but it is worse when those subjective evaluations are attested to by the quantifiable aspects of economic life.
I am very cynical about politics and super-double-atomic cynical about the Democratic Party and its operatives. That being said, I don’t think that the Democrats are pretending to care about abortion (they care ...
Only NRPLUS Members can access the Tuesday in full. Subscribe today.