This is a big deal. Less than 2 years ago, the economy was in freefall, unemployment rising to Great Depression levels, workforce participation falling, GDP collapsing and unconstrained disease spread. Electing responsible adults matters.…
Our 30 second news cycle forgets this too quickly. We had a President suggesting COVID would just go away. Entire sectors of the economy were shut down. Childcare was gone. The architects of the 2008 bailout were advising us that this was going to be much, much worse, and...
...all were keenly aware that the 2008 bailout was over-reliant on monetary policy. It got money to banks but left a generation behind. It would have been stressful in any environment, but all the more when we knew the WH was inept and in full denial mode.
The actions taken - the Family First Act, the CARES Act, the American Rescue Plan were all designed to get money into the economy and use as much fiscal (vs monetary) policy to get money to those in the most need.
The direct Economic Impact Payments to individuals, the PPP program to get money to businesses and make those loans forgivable if they used funds on payroll, the expansion of the Child Tax Credit and making it refundable... those trillions of targeted dollars were intentional.
Some, but not all was bipartisan. Sadly, the support for states - for our teachers, sanitation workers, police, firefighters was purely partisan. But the people affected didn't care why they got help. What mattered was that they got help.
We still have a long way to go. Workforce participation, especially among women is still too low thanks to gaps in the childcare system. Access to healthcare is still woefully uneven. And yes, the jolts to the global economy have caused supply chain disruptions that need fixing.
But NONE of this happens without good, ethical people in the White House and Congress who understand their duty to the American people & put facts over politics, hard work over lazy soundbites.
If anyone would have told you 2 years ago that in November 2021 we would be facing labor shortages and inflationary pressures from surging consumer demand and supply bottlenecks, you would have reasonably asked them what they were smoking.
Things aren't perfect. But thank goodness we are here instead of there. /fin

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More from @SeanCasten

19 Nov
Ok, so we're back awake now. Heading to the House soon to vote now that QEvin's temper tantrum is over. It's going to be a good day for our country. But first a quick explainer of last night's theatrics:
1/ The Build Back Better Act is really popular with the American people. Lower prescription drug prices. Universal pre-K. Massive investments to protect our climate. Finally let seniors cover hearing costs in Medicare. Expanded child tax credits. I could go on.
2/ The @GOP agenda is not popular. Taking horse medicine, storming the Capitol and stealing from the poor to pay the rich is no basis for policy.
Read 9 tweets
16 Nov
Curious about what's happening to gasoline prices? Short version is that COVID and the Texas freeze massively disrupted supply chains. Some interesting data from @EIAgov this morning. Brief thread:
1/ First, look at demand. Gray area is the historic normal. Massive collapse when COVID hit that didn't get back to normal until this spring. Supply chains got beat up.
2/ Now look at how the Texas freeze hammered the refineries. (Please, fix your grid, Texas.)
Read 5 tweets
14 Nov
So there's a video going around of a church leading their congregation in a chant of thinly veiled obscenities. I'm not going to share it, but do want to offer some thoughts on the power of the pulpit and it's temptations to corruption. Thread:
1/ Any preacher, musician or politician who's ever had some modicum of success has, at some point, found themselves in a position where they were moving a crowd towards something that was simultaneously dangerous and intoxicating.
2/ The most beautiful description I ever read of that moment was from @springsteen.…
Read 17 tweets
12 Nov
A final interesting observation from #COP26 about the politics of climate and wealth inequality. I keep thinking about a conversation I had with a clean energy developer who'd built projects all over Europe...
...his observation was that in the Nordic countries where wealth inequality is lowest, support for immediate action on climate is highest. And places like the US are in the opposite situation. He noted that the two things are connected, in a Maslow kind of way.
Namely, if you don't know whether you'll be able to pay rent next week, or feed your family, or keep the heat on, you can't afford to advocate for climate action, even though you are most at risk of climate devastation.
Read 5 tweets
12 Nov
This is so important and one of the biggest things I was tracking in Glasgow and now watching from afar. Any global, or domestic commitment to reduce GHGs lacks teeth without a robust Article 6 rulebook. (For those who want less jargon, a brief thread):
1/ Here's @EnvDefenseFund with a primer on Article 6.…
2/ At core, A6 is about transparency and accounting. Transparency being the thing that allows any country that pledges to cut their emissions from X to Y tons/yr to have open records so that any other country can audit their sources and sinks and verify the number.
Read 11 tweets
12 Nov
This is really interesting. Even in the absence of sufficiently strong GHG policy, markets increasingly prefer the risk profile of clean cheap energy that doesn't have the price volatility of fossil fuel.…
To be clear, this has been coming for a long time. I've long maintained that it's easy to predict what's going to happen in energy markets - it's just hard to predict the timing.
(Because capex cycles are so long and market fundamentals are, well, fundamental. But dumb money and/or bad contracts make the timing of liquidity moves hard to predict)
Read 9 tweets

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