Wall Street isn’t Main Street, Congressman

Congressman Cline posted on Facebook Monday:

Before Cline and other Republicans pop the champagne corks, they should be aware that according to the latest jobs report:

— Many people who have hung onto their jobs in the current crisis have seen their hours cut. The number of workers who want full-time hours but are working part-time because their employer doesn’t have enough work for them has more than tripled, from 2.7 million in February to 9.4 million in May.

— Roughly a fifth (6.6 million) of those out of work because of the virus are being counted as having dropped out of the labor force. This is because jobless people are only counted as unemployed if they are actively seeking work, which remains impossible for many.

— If all the 32.5 million workers who are out of work as a result of the virus had shown up as unemployed, the unemployment rate would have been 19.7% in May instead of 13.3%.

Rising stock prices do not put food on the tables of families who are struggling to obtain basic nutrition.

Food banks and other anti-hunger advocates have been pleading with Congress to increase food stamp benefits to make it easier for households to buy groceries, arguing it’s a much more efficient way to get food to the hungry while cutting down on the stress and stigma of waiting in food lines. But the program has become so partisan the idea of expanding it has been almost a nonstarter, even as Washington has spent hundreds of billions of dollars on other forms of aid like unemployment insurance and stimulus checks.

The gridlock comes as data increasingly shows the country is experiencing some of the highest food insecurity numbers on record, even with all of the aid Congress has doled out in recent weeks.

And of course the stock market is not the real economy, especially as it affects tens of millions of working people. That was true even before the COVID pandemic, and it will be true afterwards.

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