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Clashing Perspectives on Real Wages and Incomes During Biden’s Administration

Analysis of Real Wages and Incomes Under Biden: Scott vs. Yellen

The debate over the impact of inflation on American wages and incomes has intensified in recent weeks, with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Sen. Tim Scott offering conflicting claims on the issue. Yellen argues that real wages and household median wealth have increased since before the pandemic, while Scott contends that working-class wages have actually decreased under President Joe Biden.

Both Yellen and Scott have data to back up their claims, but the difference lies in the timeframe they are analyzing. Yellen looks at data from before the pandemic to the present, while Scott focuses on changes since Biden took office in 2021. The discrepancy in their claims has sparked a debate among economists on which timeframe is more appropriate for evaluating real wage and income growth under Biden.

Analyzing the data, it is clear that since Biden entered office, real wages and incomes have not kept up with inflation. However, when looking at data from before the pandemic, there has been a slight increase in inflation-adjusted wages and incomes. The impact of the pandemic on these measurements cannot be understated, as the exit and reentry of low-wage workers from the workforce have significantly influenced the data.

Ultimately, the debate over when to begin the analysis of real wage and income growth under Biden continues among economists. While some argue for starting in 2019 for more stable data, others believe that starting in 2021 is more appropriate given the economic conditions at that time. The conflicting claims from Yellen and Scott highlight the complexity of evaluating the impact of inflation on American wages and incomes.


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