Purchasing goods and services in the United States has become more expensive, and Democrats are beginning to feel political pressure.
The party suffered electoral losses and close calls in Virginia and New Jersey, both Democratic-majority states where voters who prioritized the economy favored Republicans over Democrats. Republicans in Virginia ran advertisements blaming Dems for price increases.
Last week, Democratic leaders, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, held a press conference with Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo to allay fears about supply chain shortages, which are one of the major causes of inflated prices.
Their message to Americans is that it will take time to return to normalcy, but they are working on it.
However, some Democrats recognize the need to address the issue proactively, like Rep. Ami Bera (D-Calif.), a member of the more moderate New Democrat Coalition in the House, believes Democrats are failing to communicate effectively about the “real problem” of inflation.
Bera attributed Republican Glenn Youngkin’s win in the governor’s race to his acknowledgment of kitchen table issues like kids’ schooling and the unexpected rise in everyday spending.
“I think that we’re bogged down in the process of trying to get really important legislation done. I think we’ve got to acknowledge the people where they are right now and I don’t think we did a great job of that in Virginia,” Bera said.
Another instance is that of Rep. Abigail Spanberger, a Virginia Democrat on the front lines, who told The New York Times that Democrats must do more to address voters’ economic concerns.
“We were so willing to take seriously a global pandemic, but we’re not willing to say, ‘Yeah, inflation is a problem, and supply chain is a problem, and we don’t have enough workers in our workforce,’” Spanberger said.
The economy is in an odd state right now. Rising wages, combined with unprecedented government financial assistance, have actually left families with some savings, which is unusual in an economy emerging from a recession.
Because families are suddenly able to spend, the increased demand has placed an unsustainable strain on global supply chains, which are still being disrupted by the ongoing pandemic.
But the pandemic isn’t completely over, either. The labor force has not recovered to where it was prior to COVID-19’s devastation of the economy. Traders began to worry prematurely last month that there were signs of stagflation, the combination of slow to nonexistent economic growth and ongoing inflation.