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IN OUR VIEW/The Real Economy: Stock market isn't what matters to most Americans

January 24, 2022 at 10:00 p.m.

The U.S. stock market was down early Monday for the seventh day in a row. And the recent turmoil has some worried about the economy.

But not President Joe Biden.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told CNN Monday that "We always focus on the trends in the economy, not any one day and not any single indicator, and the President's economic team is actively monitoring developments. And unlike his predecessor, President Biden does not look at the stock market as a means by which to judge the economy."

Psaki was quick to add, though, that the market is up 15% since President Biden took office, so it looks like the White House does glance at the numbers from time to time.

She also noted unemployment was down and touted overall economic growth indicators in defense of the administration's policies.

We agree that the stock market isn't much of an economic indicator to most Americans. If they own stock at all it's mostly in retirement accounts and, on average, it's not all that much. The stock market doesn't affect their lives on a daily basis.

And lower unemployment is good. So is economic growth, however abstractly one measures it. Provided those job pay enough and that growth reaches the folks who work one or two or even three jobs.

But let's get real. For most of our fellow citizens the economy is how much it costs to fill the car with gas or put food on the table or keep the house warm in winter. It's about the cost of prescription drugs and doctor visits. It's about how much money is left from the paycheck after bills are paid -- if any is left, we mean.

And by those measures, the economy isn't doing that well.

Unfortunately, that reality seems to be lost on those in power, left or right, Republican or Democrat. But then, they don't have to worry about such things, do they?

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