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The viral $16 McDonald's meal that may explain voter anger at Biden

On Dec. 20, 2022, Topher Olive went to a McDonald's in the town of Post Falls, Idaho, and ordered a limited edition "smoky" double quarter pounder BLT with fries and a Sprite. The meal cost $16.10, and he posted the receipt on TikTok.

Even though he had ordered a novelty item, Olive's video about a $16 McDonald's order went viral, racking up hundreds of thousands of views. After a McDonald's revenue report recently, the same post went viral again earlier this month, with at least a half-dozen news outlets - including the Washington Examiner, the New York Post and Newsmax - picking up the story of Olive's pricey patty.

One YouTube video from this month with 2 million views inaccurately describes it as "a Big Mac meal" that cost $16. Posts on Reddit, the conservative site Twitchy and elsewhere tied the cost to President Biden's economic management: Inflation, the theory went, had gotten so out of control that the price of a fast-food burger was approaching $20.

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These stories soon reached the White House Office of Digital Strategy, which tracked the meme as one of many exaggerated examples of the nation's economic woes, according to a White House official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to reflect internal discussions. In reality, inflation has been steadily subsiding, and last week the government reported price hikes had eased yet again in October.

The average Big Mac nationally as of this summer cost $5.58, up from $4.89 - or roughly 70 cents - before Biden took office, according to an index maintained by the Economist. That's up more than 10 percent, but it's not $16.

And yet one anomalous price from one store in Idaho 11 months ago was ripping through people's social media feeds as if it explained the entire economy. One Democratic official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe private conversations, said: "What are we supposed to do, tell the president or Charles E. Schumer to send a tweet saying, 'Hey, most Big Macs aren't that expensive?' It would look ridiculous." A spokesperson from McDonald's did not return a request for comment.

The Big Mac conundrum reflects what Biden aides and senior Democratic officials regard as one of their most vexing challenges ahead of the 2024 presidential election. Even as inflation has fallen to a manageable 3 percent, and although the labor market has remained hot amid strong growth, voters still don't like the economy, and they blame the president.

Overcoming this discontent - and understanding what is driving it - has become a central priority of the White House and Democratic lawmakers, leading to a fierce debate among economists, pollsters and other experts.

As the administration tries to figure out how to improve its economic message, White House Chief of Staff Jeff Zients has held internal meetings over the last several weeks with top communications and economic officials, according to two people familiar with internal matters, speaking on the condition of anonymity to describe the discussions. (A White House spokeswoman declined to comment.)

Former president Donald Trump has made ridiculing Biden's economic performance one of his main campaign messages, raising the stakes for the White House even more.

The administration continues to be torn over how to respond to the negative polling.

On the one hand, administration officials say Biden deserves more credit for his economic accomplishments - a booming job market; substantial wage increases for low-income workers; rapid economic growth - that they say are the result of his 2021 economic stimulus and other legislative measures. Americans won't give Biden credit for those accomplishments if the president and his allies don't talk about them, many strategists and party officials argue.

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by Anonymousreply 108November 28, 2023 7:34 PM

When asked about young voters' economic frustrations with the president by CNBC on Monday, Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen said, "I'm aware of that, and I think it's our job to explain to Americans what President Biden has done to improve the economy."

And yet some aides are uneasy about pushing Biden to cheerlead for the economy in a way that appears disconnected from the public's frustrations. White House officials are quick not to dismiss the pain of inflation, which Yellen emphasized Monday, too, and some voters regard the suggestion that they simply do not appreciate their circumstances as elitist and condescending.

Rather than risk appearing out of touch, some pollsters and other Democrats maintain, Biden should do more to concentrate on criticizing large corporations and Republicans for making average Americans' economic circumstances worse.

"There's a huge divide internally about whether we're going to claim success or try to draw a contrast" with Republicans, said one Democratic consultant who has pushed White House officials to stop touting economic accomplishments and instead hammer the GOP's economic plans. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity to reflect private conversations. "I don't know how long we can keep doing this and expect a different result."

At the center of this debate is a dispute over to what extent social media and perceptions - rather than real conditions in the economy - are fueling voters' angst.

There is at least some evidence that the digital world is painting a bleaker picture than the statistics support.

Brendan Gahan, a digital marketing consultant, said that data from TikTok shows conversation around #economycollapsing reached a fever pitch this past month and generated tens of millions of views - even as inflation markedly cooled, growth remained robust and unemployment stayed near record lows.

TikTok abounds with misleading or inaccurate information about the economy. One video in September with 2.3 million views said there was a "SILENT DEPRESSION." Another video from this summer with 2.1 million views claimed, incorrectly, "We have the lowest purchasing power we have ever had in American history," and asserted that inflation-adjusted wages are lower than they were then. (Disposable income per capita is, in fact, more than five times larger than it was in 1930, adjusted for inflation.)

A third video, with 1.8 million views, similarly falsely claimed, "We currently are making less than the height of the Great Depression." TikTok and YouTube have dozens of videos of this kind, making similarly false claims.

Brian Hanly, CEO of Bullish Studio, a financial media company that works with content creators, said that it is going to be difficult for Biden to overcome this narrative no matter how many charts and numbers aides provide.

"We live in a reply guy world, and dunking on people [including the president] is what's going to get even more engagement, and more engagement equals more money," Hanly said.

Some economists think these kinds of comments are not just wrong but dangerous. They have been astounded by polling data on Biden's economic approval and surveys of consumer sentiment, where results during the Biden administration are similar to the Great Recession, when unemployment was close to three times as high as it is now.

by Anonymousreply 1November 25, 2023 3:16 PM

These economists fear that these exaggerated stories will ultimately lead to a worse outcome - perhaps helping Trump win reelection - and that it is vital to make clear that this remains by many measures one of the best recoveries in modern U.S. history. They also express confusion over why consumers continue to spend so heavily, if the pessimism is driven by economic insecurity.

The White House official said the administration is working with TikTok creators to tell positive stories of Biden's economic stewardship, while also working with social media platforms to counter misinformation.

"Folks have bought burgers at the wrong price throughout the history of time, and that includes economists. At all other times, we would look at our burger and our bill and say, 'Wow, I wish I'd done more addition and subtraction,'" said Justin Wolfers, an economist at the University of Michigan. "At the present moment, though, we instead say, 'Wow, I hate this economy.' Folks are viewing everything they buy through that lens."

Will Stancil, a research fellow at the Institute on Metropolitan Opportunity, said the problem goes far beyond TikTok, pointing out the media also focuses disproportionately on negative news. He said that Republican voters turned on the economy as soon as Biden was elected - hardly a sign of underlying conditions.

It is not a conspiracy theory, Stancil argued, to believe the media ecosystem has warped people's views, particularly given how hard it is to assess nationwide economic conditions from one's own personal experience.

"This has a lot to do with the social and media environment that young people live in. People's ideas of things like the economy - which they can't experience directly - are being constructed from what they're hearing from other people. It's being constructed from what you hear from your peers, trusted sources, and the news media, and so forth," Stancil said, arguing that while people can have their own experiences of the economy, they cannot individually form a comprehensive picture of it. "People begin to incorporate that into their worldview."

And yet other experts and even some Democratic officials see political danger in this approach, in part because voter discontent - even if prone to occasional rhetorical excess, especially on the internet - is driven by a real deterioration in people's conditions.

Inflation has subsided, but price hikes continue, and wages remain below their pre-pandemic trajectory. With the expiration of trillions of dollars in covid aid, and the resumption of evictions and student loan payments, millions of voters suddenly see worse financial circumstances than they did a year ago.

In fact, from 2015 to 2021, more than half of the country saw their disposable income increase relative to the prior year. But with inflation and the disappearance of covid aid, that number has flipped. In 2022, at the same time voters soured on the economy, close to 60 percent of people saw their income decline relative to last year, according to Matt Bruenig, founder of the People's Policy Project, a think tank that supports expansion of the welfare state.

"The insistence that the economy is just obviously good and that grievances against it are necessarily rooted in bad motivations or perpetual goalpost-moving is really just lazy punditry," Bruenig wrote.

Other issues also feed economic frustration: high interest rates that have put the dream of homeownership out of reach for millions; rising rents for everyone else; and persistently high grocery prices, among other factors.

by Anonymousreply 2November 25, 2023 3:17 PM

As inflation has ebbed, wages have begun rising slightly faster than prices - but compared with the trajectory before the pandemic, wages adjusted for inflation are well below where they would have been, according to calculations by Jason Furman, a Harvard economist who served as a top Obama administration official. (The number fluctuates depending on which pre-pandemic years are used for the comparison.)

Jordan Uhl, a content creator and progressive activist, said it's no surprise that TikTok - populated disproportionately by younger people and people who work for hourly wages - captures dissatisfaction with the economy.

"There's this cadre of number-crunching paperwork obsessives who are convinced that if some report says inflation is slowing, that means everything is great and everybody who feels something different is either lying or brainwashed by TikTok," he said. "The idea that people are just making this up or are misled about their own material conditions is absurd."

Zaid Admani, a content creator with nearly 400,000 followers who posts about finance and economic topics, said that people are increasingly learning about financial concepts on TikTok - but that many have a very negative view of the country's economic outlook.

"People feel a sense of dread," he said.

by Anonymousreply 3November 25, 2023 3:17 PM


by Anonymousreply 4November 25, 2023 3:21 PM

R2 math is wrong. 69 cent increase on the Big Mac price represents almost 15% rise, so it's strange to say "over 10%" increase.

by Anonymousreply 5November 25, 2023 3:23 PM

Fast food should be expensive. Have you seen the gluttonous hogs waddling around North Idaho?

Expensive food will hopefully force them to make lifestyle changes.

by Anonymousreply 6November 25, 2023 3:25 PM

Way to miss the entire point of the article, R4.

This is Hillary lost in 2016 and Biden might lose in 2024.

Assholes like R4.

Instead of engaging in meaningful discussion, and carefully listening to what voters are complaining about, you smugly criticize said voters, and ignorantly reduce the issue down to one of "Waahhhh, McDonald's is so expensive now."

It's that tone deafness and arrogance that creates Democratic losses.

There is a bigger issue at play here. EVERYTHING IS MORE EXPENSIVE.

Including McDonald's, which is supposed to be cheap.

So why is it so fucking expensive?

THAT is what voters are irritated about.

Yet R4 is too fucking stupid to decipher the true message of the article.

by Anonymousreply 7November 25, 2023 3:26 PM

And like clockwork, another smug liberal asshole comes in at R6.

Instead of saying, "I understand what this person is saying, and that's the message that Democrats need to work on," R6 comes in with judgment and hubris, and says "You're too fat anyway, so it's a good thing that your meal is expensive."

Can you just imagine if a politician delivered that message to a voter? They would get ZERO votes.

Think about what the fuck you are saying, R6. And then you will understand why Joe Biden might not win in 2024.

You are so condescending and arrogant, that it's simply mind-boggling.

by Anonymousreply 8November 25, 2023 3:30 PM

I love that the reaction to paying slightly more for food because of GLOBAL inflation brought on by a GLOBAL economic downturn as a result of a GLOBAL pandemic... is to blame Biden and then vote for the authoritarian who has already tried to subvert a democratic election once before, is threatening to purge the civil service, and refers to fellow Americans as vermin. Oh, and who plans to combat inflation with another enormous tax break for the rich.

Honestly, if the majority of the electorate is willing to throw away a quarter of a millennium of democracy because their junk food is more expensive, then the country truly deserves Trump at the helm.

by Anonymousreply 9November 25, 2023 3:30 PM

"This is Hillary lost in 2016 and Biden might lose in 2024."

Hillary lost because Democrats never learn and never fight as hard as the republic party fucksticks. A pattern being repeated as we speak.

Oh, and Trump will be elected in 2024. That is a fact. If you want fantasy politics, head over to the Democratic Underground.

by Anonymousreply 10November 25, 2023 3:31 PM

R8 get off your soapbox you humorless infected cunt.

by Anonymousreply 11November 25, 2023 3:33 PM

[quote]Instead of saying, "I understand what this person is saying, and that's the message that Democrats need to work on,"

What exactly do you want Dems to do? Hold their hands while the other side works on dismantling the government itself? Why do the Dems need to bend over backwards when on the other side are fascists who do everything in their power to make the results of the elections be unrepresentative so they can cling to power?

Stop treating people as dumb.

by Anonymousreply 12November 25, 2023 3:34 PM

People can't have it both ways. You can't demand that these places pay $15 - $20 an hour an expect the menu prices to remain cheap. One of the reasons the prices remained low for so long is because of cheap labor. You can't blame corporate pricing structure in private companies on Joe Biden. It's ridiculous.

by Anonymousreply 13November 25, 2023 3:34 PM

You also can't expect low prices and strong worker protections and decent pay at the same time. Like, that's not a thing. Society needs to decide what it wants to prioritise, but it can't have it both ways, just like r13 said.

by Anonymousreply 14November 25, 2023 3:37 PM

[quote] These stories soon reached the White House Office of Digital Strategy, which tracked the meme as one of many exaggerated examples of the nation's economic woes

R4 and R6 obviously work for the Biden Administration.

"Nothing to see here. Move along."

They are completely ignoring what the voters are feeling.

And mind you, this is NOT inflation.

I have been saying this since 2021.


The reason prices are so high is because of PRICE GOUGING.

"We had to raise prices due to Covid."

"Supply chain issues."


I have actually read signs in restaurants and stores that have this in writing.

But it's all bullshit.

Businesses have used the pandemic as an excuse to charge higher and higher prices, while giving less and less product.

They felt that the pandemic robbed them of income, and they decided to take it back.

But guess what? They haven't stopped "taking it back." They are taking, and taking, and taking.

THIS is what Biden needs to fix.


Consumers don't understand why prices keep rising, but I do.

And it's all based on greed, from both corporations AND small businesses alike.

by Anonymousreply 15November 25, 2023 3:40 PM

[quote] Why do the Dems need to bend over backwards when on the other side are fascists who do everything in their power to make the results of the elections be unrepresentative so they can cling to power?

Because Donald Trump is currently leading in the polls.

[quote] Stop treating people as dumb.

Stop treating people as smart.

American voters have proven themselves to be completely unreliable when it comes to common sense.

Look at the poll numbers.

Why would nearly 50% still support Trump, after everything he has done?


Instead of arrogantly saying, "Well the voters should be smart enough to make the right decision," you have to instead play by Republican rules.

Just regurgitate back to voters, exactly what they want to hear.

And then once you're elected, do whatever the hell you want to do.

That's how Republicans have been getting elected all these years, and that's exactly what they do when they take office.

by Anonymousreply 16November 25, 2023 3:46 PM

Well if anyone is going to fix corporate greed it's the Republicans. Those Post Falls citizens should keep voting red.

by Anonymousreply 17November 25, 2023 3:47 PM

r15, you are correct. When, as of Nov 17, 2023, the average hourly pay for a Crew Member at McDonald's in Idaho is $12.02 an hour, the problem is price gouging, not inflation.

by Anonymousreply 18November 25, 2023 3:53 PM

R7 / r15, is this your first day here?

- r4

by Anonymousreply 19November 25, 2023 3:55 PM

Not only a half pound of fine McDonald’s burger the fat fuck has to go with bacon on it, and fries, and a soft drink.

And then complains that $20 is too much.

What a great country.

by Anonymousreply 20November 25, 2023 4:04 PM

[quote] At the center of this debate is a dispute over to what extent social media and perceptions - rather than real conditions in the economy - are fueling voters' angst. There is at least some evidence that the digital world is painting a bleaker picture than the statistics support.

This is a big part of the problem. So many people today live their whole lives on social media. It's where they get all their news and information. And most of it is garbage. Unfortunately, the Republicans are better at creating social media content that will go viral (largely because they have no morals and are willing to post complete bullshit). I hope Biden has some social media geniuses on his team because that's where the 2024 election may be won or lost.

by Anonymousreply 21November 25, 2023 4:05 PM

Oh, and another problem is that American consumers won't stop buying.

No matter how high prices get, people keep spending their money.

One way to effectively bring down prices is to STOP BUYING THE PRODUCT.

Personally, if I feel that something is too expensive, then I will refuse to buy it.

But I think that Americans have too much disposable income, and they are also habit-driven.

So even though they'll bitch and moan about the $16 meal, they'll still fork over the money.

Because the bottom line is that Americans NEED - not want, but NEED - their $8 cup of mocha mocha java, their $16 "value meal," their latest upgrade to the $2000 Iphone20, the $300 shoes that their favorite athlete is wearing, the $15 bunch of kale from Whole Foods, and all the other EXPENSIVE CRAP that advertisers tell Americans that we NEED.

It's weird, but I don't remember it being this way when I was a kid. There were lots of toys, and games, and clothing, and food that people couldn't buy because they couldn't afford it. So companies HAD to keep prices down.

But nowdays it seems like people can afford everything, and they never stop buying. Which is why companies keep charging more.

Weird, isn't it? Do Americans have THAT MUCH MONEY, where companies pay no regard to how high they price products? Because Americans will always buy, no matter what?

by Anonymousreply 22November 25, 2023 4:06 PM

“Just order it without cheese, you fat, cheap whore!”

by Anonymousreply 23November 25, 2023 4:06 PM

People were totally happy with the direction the country and economy were headed. Then they saw a TikTok video about an expensive burger, and now suddenly they're all enraged and running to Trump.

The solution is simple. The Biden campaign makes a video about a cheap burger. All those people will once again instantly change their minds and love the current economy.

No policy or strategy retooling required. Changing minds is just that easy! Who knew? Thanks, Washington Post!

by Anonymousreply 24November 25, 2023 4:06 PM

R24 Really, I read that article and laughed. Who is the simpleton that wrote it? Bless their heart.

by Anonymousreply 25November 25, 2023 4:13 PM

I question adults who order full sugar sodas. The Sprite SHOULD cost $10 to discourage obesity and diabetes, and the food should cost $6.

by Anonymousreply 26November 25, 2023 4:14 PM

That is one fucking long article!

by Anonymousreply 27November 25, 2023 4:17 PM

Nobody forces anyone to go to a McDonalds to eat.

Democrats believe in unions and a higher minimum wage.

Republicans believe in outrage about issues that they COULD do something about but WON'T.

You pick.

by Anonymousreply 28November 25, 2023 4:30 PM

U.S. Americans don't know what's beyond their own trailer court. There's inflation all over the world. We just emerged from a goddam pandemic.

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by Anonymousreply 29November 25, 2023 4:44 PM

No one gives a rat's ass about the inflation rate in the UK. Good grief.

by Anonymousreply 30November 25, 2023 4:47 PM


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by Anonymousreply 31November 25, 2023 5:00 PM

How much is a quality sub sandwich, with a can of soda, and maybe a banana or an apple, in a local, good, deli?

by Anonymousreply 32November 25, 2023 5:11 PM

Unless a majority of the American public would support the government setting and enforcing price caps on products and services, then these people need to stop blaming the President about something he doesn't control and start directing their anger where it needs to go.

by Anonymousreply 33November 25, 2023 5:13 PM

This is so fucking stupid. Like Joe Biden controls the prices at McDonalds. Jesus fucking christ, why are people so goddamned dumb?

by Anonymousreply 34November 25, 2023 5:37 PM

R8, I WW'd R6's post because it was funny. It was meant to be funny.

by Anonymousreply 35November 25, 2023 5:45 PM

Blah blah blah whatever but how’s the burger? It looks good.

by Anonymousreply 36November 25, 2023 5:46 PM

Donald eats Big Macs left and right. The thing is he has the pulse on voter resentment. Biden has to tell middle America he feels the pain and go after price gougers. I'm an Instacart shopper and them grocery bills are insane! Gas prices have cooled off a bit, now grocery bills must come down.

by Anonymousreply 37November 25, 2023 5:47 PM

R15. Eve. If your price gouging argument made sense (it doesn’t), what do you want government to do? Set the prices charged for goods and services?

by Anonymousreply 38November 25, 2023 5:52 PM

And how do you suggest Biden go after price gougers? It's not like the government can set prices.

If people are unhappy about high prices then they need to radically rethink their purchasing habits. But then, citizens don't want to have to take responsibility. They want Daddy to fix things for them.

by Anonymousreply 39November 25, 2023 5:54 PM

People actually blame Biden for the price of this slop?

We truly are a nation of idiots. We deserve Trump as president.

by Anonymousreply 40November 25, 2023 5:57 PM

r23, I have cheese and Diet Coke waiting at home. 20 secs in the microwave, easy-peasy.

And I helped.

by Anonymousreply 41November 25, 2023 5:59 PM

I agree it’s price gouging and the fact that I haven’t had a raise in 5 years while the CEO, managers AND the goddamned useless twats in congress keep getting more and more and more money.

Workers are working more hours and yet can purchase less and less. Rent is outrageous. Groceries are sky high. Gas is insane. All of these useless pricks making money off of MY FUCKING LABOR and I get fuck all to show for it.

That’s what I’m mad about. However, I know there isn’t much Biden alone can do about it, since he didn’t cause the problem.

Prices continue to go up while WE get squeezed so some fucking cunt manager can get a raise. Price hikes should go to workers. CEOs are overpaid assholes who are too dumb to understand email, they’re just malignant bullies.

by Anonymousreply 42November 25, 2023 6:58 PM

Shame on Biden and his crime family for raising the price of hamburgers at McDonald's! This country has gone to hell ever since Bill Clinton ordered McDonald's to switch from frying their apple pies to baking them. And remember when Obama ordered Wendy's to change their fries to leave the potato skin on? The liberals are destroying our fast food!

by Anonymousreply 43November 25, 2023 7:22 PM

Whatever you think of the average American’s intelligence, just remember that 49.999% of the country is dumber than him.

That’s why high prices at McDonald’s are Biden’s fault and why any deranged thing that comes out of Trump’s mouth during one of his dementia dump speeches is gospel.

by Anonymousreply 44November 25, 2023 7:22 PM

It's not a meal, it's garbage.

by Anonymousreply 45November 25, 2023 8:12 PM

If prices were through the roof and Trump were President, we'd be blaming him.

That's the way it works.

It's amazing to me that some of you are surprised that a President gets blamed for the state of things. Were you born yesterday?

by Anonymousreply 46November 25, 2023 8:42 PM

[quote] The polls keep getting worse for Biden

President Joe Biden's poll numbers keep getting worse.

November started with New York Times/Siena College polls showing Trump ahead in four of the six swing states, but more indicators of Biden's electoral peril soon followed. The president’s standing in head-to-head matchups with Trump is falling: Among the latest surveys this month from 13 separate pollsters, Biden’s position is worse than their previous polls in all but two of them.

And while polls suggest most of the movement comes from voters abandoning Biden — who might become undecided but not swing to supporting Trump — the Republican has also started to gain steam. Trump’s vote share in the national polling average is higher now than at any point in the past year.

The state-level data are just as striking: In addition to those New York Times/Siena polls, within the last week and a half, other surveys have shown Trump ahead by 8 points in Arizona and 5 points up in Michigan.

Biden's recent slide — and his political predicament some 11 months before Election Day — represent a confluence of slippage with reliable Democratic constituencies like young voters, the outbreak of war in the Middle East and the rise of independent and third-party candidates who could siphon votes from both Biden and Trump.

This week’s NBC News poll had a stunning result: Trump led Biden among voters younger than 35, 46 percent to 42 percent.

Even though that was well within the high margin of error for such a small subgroup, other polls also show a close race with what has been a reliable Democratic constituency. Biden had only single-digit leads among voters 18-34 in polls this month from Morning Consult (Biden +2), Fox News (Biden +7) and Quinnipiac University (Biden +9). (Trump led Biden in all four polls among all voters.)

Only a few polls show Biden with a lead among young voters that approaches his 2020 margins, but they are the exception, not the rule.

That’s prompted a debate over whether Trump is really making the deep inroads with younger voters the polling suggests — or if those numbers are an artifact of some kind of polling bias. One popular theory speculates that liberal younger voters who are unenthusiastic about Biden and his party — over his administration’s support for Israel in its war with Hamas, for example — aren’t participating in polls right now, even if many of them will vote for him next November.

But Biden, the oldest president in history, has never polled well with younger voters. And telephone polls — of the four mentioned above, all but Morning Consult were conducted over the phone — are a difficult way to reach younger voters.

Biden’s sagging margins against Trump are one thing. But there are two other trendlines under the hood of these polls that spell trouble for the incumbent.

First, his approval rating — already historically low for a president at this point in his first term — has been ticking down. Biden’s approval rating dipped down to 38 percent in FiveThirtyEight’s average earlier this month, the lowest since July 2022. Similarly, when Biden hit 40 percent in RealClearPolitics’ average this month, it was his lowest reading since August 2022.

Meanwhile, Trump’s numbers are rising. Dating back a little more than a year, RealClearPolitics’ average has had Trump hovering between 42 percent and 46 percent in a head-to-head matchup with Biden. Not only did Trump break 46 percent for the first time earlier this month, this week he inched above 47 percent, about equal to his vote share in the 2020 election.

Most of the polls that show Trump with a majority of the vote don’t include undecided voters — a questionable methodological decision this far out from Election Day, especially in a hypothetical race between two candidates so disliked by the electorate. But even polls that do report undecided voters show Trump ticking up, like the Fox News survey, which had Trump with a slight lead over Biden, 50 percent to 46 percent.

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by Anonymousreply 47November 25, 2023 8:42 PM

It’s common to try attributing any change in a president’s poll numbers to recent news events, such as Israel’s war with Hamas. But for Biden, the reality is a little more complicated.

FiveThirtyEight’s average shows a fairly steady decline in Biden’s approval rating dating back to May. RealClearPolitics’ goes back to April.

Meanwhile, Trump’s average favorable rating has actually been steadily increasing over the past two months, rising from 39 percent on Sept. 1 to 42 percent as of Wednesday afternoon, according to FiveThirtyEight.

The bad news for Biden isn’t confined to the national polls. And that’s despite a three-month-long advertising campaign to boost the president’s numbers.

Since mid-August, Biden and the Democratic National Committee have spent about $12 million on swing state TV ads, according to the tracking firm AdImpact. For most of the fall, Biden spent about $1 million a week, though that’s been roughly cut in half for the past few weeks.

It isn’t helping. In addition to the New York Times/Siena polls showing Trump leading Biden in Arizona, Georgia, Nevada and Pennsylvania, Trump led Biden in six of seven swing states surveyed by Morning Consult and Bloomberg News.

There were also some eye-popping results in other Biden-won states from 2020. Trump was ahead by 8 points last week in a Noble Predictive Insights poll in Arizona and by 5 points in an EPIC-MRA poll in Michigan.

One of the most striking things about the daunting poll numbers for Biden is that they come in head-to-head matchups with Trump — and don’t include the third-party candidates who could draw even more votes from the president.

Many pollsters don’t yet include matchups with independent candidates like Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Cornel West or Green Party candidate Jill Stein, so there’s little evidence right now to measure their impact. Trump’s lead over Biden in RealClearPolitics’ averages is smaller when Kennedy is added but slightly larger when West and Stein are also included. Those mixed signals mean it’s too early to say exactly how independent and third-party candidates will change the electoral math for Biden and Trump.

But it’s clear Biden’s deficit is not a result of third-party candidates running — or those potentially looming, like retiring Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.). And they could make it harder for Biden to recover, especially if the independent candidates gobble up significant shares of support among groups like young voters.

by Anonymousreply 48November 25, 2023 8:42 PM

R46, the Biden administration is currently claiming credit for bringing inflation down.

That makes it clear: Their position is that the White House has some leverage over price inflation.

And you are right. If food and fuel were delightfully cheap, we'd all be praising Biden and his administration.

And if Trump were president and people moaned about inflation and stagnant wages, we'd blame Trump.

It was a Democratic president who put the famous sign on his desk: THE BUCK STOPS HERE. And it was another Democratic president whose strategy was: "It's the economy, stupid." These truths used to be fundamental; now they are forgotten.

by Anonymousreply 49November 25, 2023 8:46 PM

And if Biden were beating Trump's ass in the polls, we'd all be celebrating.

But if Biden is getting clobbered in the polls, it's: "The polls are meaningless!"

by Anonymousreply 50November 25, 2023 8:58 PM

It's not just the US, everything is more expensive globally.

by Anonymousreply 51November 25, 2023 9:02 PM

R49. It is absolutely idiotic in most instances to give a president praise or blame for the economy.

by Anonymousreply 52November 25, 2023 9:52 PM

^ Tell that to Biden. He's praising himself for the economy.

by Anonymousreply 53November 25, 2023 10:02 PM

All thru thru summer and up to last week I stopped at the drive-thru and got a large iced coffee for $2.00, 2.12 with tax. If I showed up before 11:00am this past week it was only a dollar on special. Yesterday I went and they said it was $4.00 plus tax. I said it's just an iced coffee and not a latte or specialty drink. No, I was told, the new price is $4.00, not a .50 cent increase but a 100% increase. Buh bye.

by Anonymousreply 54November 25, 2023 10:28 PM

A 100% increase is obvious price gouging as opposed to inflation

by Anonymousreply 55November 25, 2023 10:35 PM

R53. I agree presidents always take credit when the economy does well. Biden is like every other president. It’s still idiotic.

by Anonymousreply 56November 25, 2023 10:38 PM

[quote]November started with New York Times/Siena College polls showing Trump ahead in four of the six swing states

According to that very same poll, if Trump were to be convicted in any of his upcoming trials, 49% would vote for Biden vs. 39% for Trump. Nobody talks about that.

by Anonymousreply 57November 25, 2023 10:41 PM

It’s not global inflation when these corporations are making record profits.

by Anonymousreply 58November 25, 2023 10:46 PM

R28 It makes me very angry when I read here (all the time) that Democrats "believe in" a higher minimum wage. The last time the federal minimum wage was raised was in July of 2009. It's not a faith. Shit or get off the pot. Nobody cares what Democrats believe if they can't produce results. Should people vote for them in 2024 because they were not able to accomplish something in 15 years?

by Anonymousreply 59November 25, 2023 10:54 PM

R59, if idiots like you would stop blaming the people trying to raise it, and start blaming the people preventing it from being raised, our country would be a lot better off.

Do you have any fucking CLUE how things work, or why? Where Democrats are in charge and DON'T face any GOP obstructionism, the state and local minimum wages have been raised. Sometimes significantly. But at the federal level, the GOP _BLOCKS_ it every time in the Senate, where they filibuster and force a 60 vote minimum to raise it. When the GOP is in charge, the Democrats block THEM from eliminating it entirely. GROW UP AND GET A FUCKING CLUE.

Democrats are not the problem, and the more you idiots blame Democrats, the more the fascist Republicans cackle with glee.

You know what happens if people DON'T vote for Democrats in 2024? The GOP takes over. You'll NEVER see an increase in minimum wage under their rule. And in fact, they have plans in place, which you can google if you cared, to completely gut the Constitution and eliminate free & fair elections, and to stay in power in perpetuity. They will gut and destroy Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, The ACA, civil rights, environmental protections, and yes, the minimum wage.

Can you pull your head out of your ass for two seconds and look at the bigger picture and realize what is at stake?

For the love of GOD, wake the fuck up!

by Anonymousreply 60November 25, 2023 11:10 PM

Life will become hell if a Republican becomes president.

by Anonymousreply 61November 25, 2023 11:18 PM

It makes me very angry when I read here (all the time) that Democrats have to do "such and such" to earn a vote. Assholes like R59 [italic]INFURIATE[/italic] me. So much self-defeating myopic stupidity.

by Anonymousreply 62November 25, 2023 11:23 PM

I hope you're joking, R62.

by Anonymousreply 63November 26, 2023 6:14 AM

Why would you think that, R63? How are you not furious at these arrogant elitist idiots who stupidly think votes need to be earned? Voting is a civic duty, a sacred right paid for with blood and lives. You dishonor those who fought and died for our democracy when you threaten to withhold your vote out of some petty single-issue nonsense. It's beyond myopic and selfish... it's utterly self-defeating. Politicians don't listen to people who refuse to vote for them. It's stunningly ignorant and wrong-headed.

And that's before you realize we're in an existential crisis now, on many levels, and if the GOP wins, that's it, it's game over. You lose EVERYTHING. Forever. This isn't a game. You can whine that Joe Biden isn't "perfect" on this issue or that, but the ONLY alternative that will take power if he loses, if Democrats lose, is literal hell on earth. If they win, and Biden/Dems lose, NOTHING you pretend to care about so much that you were throwing a tantrum over it by withholding your vote from Democrats and Joe Biden will EVER happen. And everything we already have will be dismantled and erased. Kiss it all goodbye along with ANY opportunity in your lifetime to get it back.

These are the stakes, and it's not hyperbole.

by Anonymousreply 64November 26, 2023 6:36 AM

Biden is too old. Time to step away.

by Anonymousreply 65November 26, 2023 7:40 AM

I don’t live in the US anymore, but just spent a month there due to a dying parent. The pricing of everyday goods is ridiculous, and it will be a political albatross for an incumbent government.

There are studies in pricing strategy/revenue management of “optical pricing” - the appearance of price/value at a given price point. And while the administration might claim inflation is lowering, the damage done by the earlier rounds of inflation + price gouging hasn’t subsided. So you have a McDonald’s meal ranging between. $10-16 when the perceived optical price had been $5-7 for decades. Or $7 boxes of Kellogg’s cereal, when the store brand is $2.50. Or $5 bottles of Heinz ketchup. A $10 package of chicken breasts. Each of these optical prices add up to a perceived poor economy, no matter what a government macroeconomist tells you.

And it’s not nearly as bad in Europe. Optical prices maybe 10-20% higher, slightly managed by shrinkflation and deal frequency to keep the optical price down (McDonald’s excepted; they and Kraft Heinz are gouging globally.)

You almost wonder if the corporate leaders are doing it to advance their own political interests: supermarket executives and fast-food franchisees aren’t exactly democratic socialists.

by Anonymousreply 66November 26, 2023 8:55 AM

Only in America would there be anger over the price of fast food.

The salad was probably just as expensive but that remains unsold.

by Anonymousreply 67November 26, 2023 9:23 AM

r65 = Chris Christie

by Anonymousreply 68November 26, 2023 9:33 AM

[quote] So you have a McDonald’s meal ranging between. $10-16 when the perceived optical price had been $5-7 for decades. Or $7 boxes of Kellogg’s cereal, when the store brand is $2.50. Or $5 bottles of Heinz ketchup. A $10 package of chicken breasts. Each of these optical prices add up to a perceived poor economy, no matter what a government macroeconomist tells you.

THIS, R66!!!!

This is it in a nutshell! This is why people are so pissed.

Thank you so much for explaining it so succinctly.

And I agree that corporations don't care, and are probably doing it on purpose, because they actually want a Donald Trump Presidency.

by Anonymousreply 69November 26, 2023 1:37 PM

R66 are you American?

by Anonymousreply 70November 26, 2023 2:05 PM

[quote]Or $7 boxes of Kellogg’s cereal, when the store brand is $2.50.

And this doesn't give you the fucking clue that it's CORPORATE PRICE GOUGING? How is that Joe BIDEN'S fault? Maybe be mad at corporations who are jacking up their prices to reap record profits? You know who runs those corporations? REPUBLICANS.

Stop falling for the rope-a-dope you fucking morons

by Anonymousreply 71November 26, 2023 2:20 PM

Exactly R71.

The astonishing price gouging has been going on all through the pandemic. Corporations maximize profit by draining its workers AND the consumers.

The Dems need to make this a priority to speak out and be vocal about. Republicans back these corporations and it's in their interests to keep prices high and people miserable. They can blame Biden, get back the White House and never again let the seat of power out of their hands......

by Anonymousreply 72November 26, 2023 2:25 PM

[quote] And this doesn't give you the fucking clue that it's CORPORATE PRICE GOUGING? How is that Joe BIDEN'S fault? Maybe be mad at corporations who are jacking up their prices to reap record profits?

Yes, but can't the President do something about this through legislation or Executive Orders?

Trump would have issued an EO at the drop of a hat, if it was something he truly hated.

But Biden believes in capitalism and the free market, so he thinks that corporations have a right to charge whatever we want.

Unfortunately, we've reached the point where corporations cannot be trusted to do the right thing.

So we NEED government intervention by the President and by Congress.

by Anonymousreply 73November 26, 2023 2:26 PM

[quote]Yes, but can't the President do something about this through legislation or Executive Orders?

No, but he can use his bully pulpit to highlight price gouging, call out offending companies by name and urge Americans to rethink their brand loyalties.

by Anonymousreply 74November 26, 2023 2:30 PM

Exactly, R74.

So he actually CAN do something about it, contrary to what R71 is yelling about.

by Anonymousreply 75November 26, 2023 2:33 PM

R73 a reasonable question, and one I think a lot of people are asking.

I don't blame Biden for this, though. He's in a damned if he does/doesn't position. All the old Trumpers and hard right wingers felt he massively overstepped with even the tiny student loan forgiveness he promised. If he were to take on the business community they'd likely have the same intensely negative reaction, and big corporations would double and triple their monetary support to whatever Repuke candidate would do their bidding.

And unfortunately, the compliance/reform arm of the US economy has been toothless for some time. Elizabeth Warren would have been an excellent person to head up that team, but we were all too busy paying attention to whatever Donald Trump was saying about her to tear her apart.....he knew quite well what she was capable of and set out to defuse her power. And sadly he was successful with his "Pocahontas" bullshit.

by Anonymousreply 76November 26, 2023 2:36 PM

That’s a brilliant rejection strategy—-Biden ranting ineffectually about high burger prices.

I think DL has been invaded by 1970s Soviets.

by Anonymousreply 77November 26, 2023 2:37 PM

[quote] Yes, but can't the President do something about this through legislation or Executive Orders? Trump would have issued an EO at the drop of a hat, if it was something he truly hated. But Biden believes in capitalism and the free market, so he thinks that corporations have a right to charge whatever we want.

So the Democrats are now the party of free-market capitalism and limited government? And the Republicans are the party of government intervention and regulation? It's so hard to keep it all straight. (Of course, as soon as Biden would issue an executive order, the Repukes would complain about presidential overreach and go back to their "limited government" charade. And what exactly would this magical executive order do -- set mandatory burger prices at fast food restaurants?)

by Anonymousreply 78November 26, 2023 3:53 PM

The Federal government actually has issued price controls in the past, so it's not unprecedented, but just imagine the apoplectic reaction from Fox News types:


It's a sad state of affairs.

by Anonymousreply 79November 26, 2023 4:45 PM

R66 so what is the ACTUAL value price of a McDonald's meal? Not the perceived value aka "optical price" and not the current price.

I'm lost as to what price point is the reasonable price for a McDonald's meal. (Just as an example)

by Anonymousreply 80November 26, 2023 4:56 PM

[quote]I'm lost as to what price point is the reasonable price for a McDonald's meal.

I bought two double cheeseburgers yesterday using the McDonald's app (2 for 1) for $4.75. Otherwise, a double quarter pounder with cheese large meal is $13.59 not including taxes in my area. Regular quarter pounder with cheese meal is $11.09 The limited edition "smoky" double quarter pounder BLT is not available in my area and I'm assuming since the person in the article went with a double then they selected the larger meal.

by Anonymousreply 81November 26, 2023 5:15 PM

And you consider that a value price R81?

by Anonymousreply 82November 26, 2023 5:18 PM

[quote]I bought two double cheeseburgers yesterday using the McDonald's app (2 for 1) for $4.75

Double cheeseburgera are two patties and two slices of cheese. But this week they are having a national special of two McDoubles which is two patties but one piece of chesse 2 for $3.50

by Anonymousreply 83November 26, 2023 5:29 PM

Only the $4.75 for the two double cheeseburgers, R82. I've paid for a meal at a fast food restuarant and usually regretted it but for prices around $15 to $20 I'd rather go to a regular restaurant and order an appetizer and a drink and chat with the customers and waiter/bartender.

by Anonymousreply 84November 26, 2023 5:38 PM

McDonald's pricing isn't uniform and can be adjusted by the franchisee....which makes this even more complicated to consider.

by Anonymousreply 85November 26, 2023 5:41 PM

McDonalds is SLOP

For $16 you can get a GIANT Stickball sandwich at New Jersey Mike's Subs- very tasty.

by Anonymousreply 86November 26, 2023 5:59 PM

At least the hamburgers are warm under Biden's presidency.

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by Anonymousreply 87November 26, 2023 6:16 PM

Lots of fast casual places you can get a meal for $16 that is much better quality.

Only the fattest of fat hogs go to McD's. Or expect to be served any sort of edible food for 4 dollars.

by Anonymousreply 88November 26, 2023 6:34 PM

McDonald’s is everywhere, R88, including lots of locations where those superior burger chains are nowhere to be found. And they always have a drive thru. It’s not a matter of taste and waist size; sometimes it’s just availability and convenience.

by Anonymousreply 89November 26, 2023 6:38 PM

[quote] sometimes it’s just availability and convenience.

I hear that argument about people who go to Subway and Jimmy John's, which is the biggest scam and waste of money ever. If you seriously cannot fucking make a fucking sandwich in your own fucking house and take it to work, then it's your mismanagement of money that should be examined, not blaming a president of the United States for your own shortcomings.

by Anonymousreply 90November 26, 2023 6:42 PM

R79. And price controls were such a brilliant success in the past.

by Anonymousreply 91November 26, 2023 6:42 PM

McD's = shady as fuck

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by Anonymousreply 92November 26, 2023 8:21 PM

[quote]If you seriously cannot fucking make a fucking sandwich in your own fucking house and take it to work, then it's your mismanagement of money that should be examined,

Make your own sandwich? You think this so some third world country? Do you want some powdered milk with that?

by Anonymousreply 93November 26, 2023 10:19 PM

[quote]Yes, but can't the President do something about this through legislation or Executive Orders?

Presidents. Do. Not. Legislate.

Republicans obstruct the Senate with the filibuster, and currently "control" the House, meaning NOTHING is getting done.

This is not Biden's fault. But Biden IS a stop gap there to veto any stupid shit that the House might pass (not that it'd make it through the Senate, but given our "majority" includes assholes like Sinema and Manchin, you never know).

Dear god, please learn how our government works, people. It's not difficult!

by Anonymousreply 94November 26, 2023 11:05 PM

Yeah, when McDonald's updated their app recently (a few weeks ago), even though I hadn't used it in a year, it popped up asking me to agree to terms and conditions. I dismissed it. The next time I unlocked my phone, there it was again, taking over, trying to get me to agree to terms and conditions. WTF.

I dismissed it again, and deleted the app. Fuck McDonalds.

Even worse, any time you go through the damn drive through they don't greet you anymore, they just blurt out "Will you be using the mobile app today?" FUCK NO, I won't be using that. Jesus. It makes for a very awkward first interaction with a faceless speaker.

by Anonymousreply 95November 26, 2023 11:07 PM

R84, you'd think, but I went to Red Robin not too long ago (this past summer) and a burger, fries, and a drink ended up being close to thirty bucks. So yeah.

by Anonymousreply 96November 26, 2023 11:09 PM

Of course, WE all know that no president has any control over prices, as many are saying here. But unfortunately, that hasn't gotten through to Biden's press secretary, who labors under the delusion that the President has some power to control inflation.

Nov. 20:

[quote]Lowering costs for Americans continues to be the President’s top economic priority. From strengthening supply — supply chains, to lowering energy and healthcare costs, to cracking down on price gouging by banning hidden junk fees, President Biden’s policy will continue bringing relief to American families.

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by Anonymousreply 97November 26, 2023 11:11 PM

R97, I'm not sure if you're really dense or just pretending to be.

by Anonymousreply 98November 26, 2023 11:39 PM

When is Biden going to do something about McDonald's always getting my order wrong when I go through the drive-thru?

by Anonymousreply 99November 27, 2023 12:21 AM

Fuck that. When is he bringing back KFC potato wedges?

by Anonymousreply 100November 27, 2023 2:21 AM

This is why we can’t have nice things!!!

by Anonymousreply 101November 27, 2023 3:20 PM

Most McDonald's meals are $10 or less for a Medium size around here.

Most sit-down restaurants, even the fast casual ones, will cost you between $20-30 for a meal.

by Anonymousreply 102November 27, 2023 8:44 PM

[quote] A viral $16 McDonald’s meal won’t go away, and that’s a problem for Democrats

Sticker shock, a feeling as old as commerce itself, is no longer just an irksome, unexpectedly high bill. In the era of social media, overpaying for dinner is an invitation for anyone and everyone to publicly shake their fist over the health of the global economy.

Take the $16 McDonald’s meal that struck a nerve on TikTok late last year. If you missed it, the gist is there’s a guy in Idaho who paid $16.10 for a burger, large fries and a drink.

“I get there’s a labor shortage. I get there’s wage increases and a number of other things,” he says in the video. “But $16? … It’s just crazy.”

Even a year later, the video is being recirculated on TikTok, Reddit, the New York Post and Newsmax for what the moment ostensibly says about the state of the American economy.

That’s becoming an increasingly nettlesome problem for Democratic political strategists and economists who have so far failed to deliver the message that the economy is actually doing great.

Of course, fast food prices have gone up along with everything else in the past few years, but not by as much as the TikTok video suggests. The burger in the video isn’t a standard McDonald’s menu item — it was a one-off “smoky” double quarter-pounder with bacon and cheese, the kind of limited offering that fast-food restaurants often roll out in order to gin up sales in a business that runs on razor-thin margins.

The average Big Mac in America cost $5.58 this summer, according to the Economist. That’s up about 75 cents from January 2020, just before the pandemic hit. Because the vast majority of McDonald’s restaurants in the United States are independently owned, prices vary from region to region. (For example, in the wealthy town of Darien, Connecticut, a Big Mac combo meal can set you back about $18, as CBS News reported earlier this year and as I experienced first-hand on a pit stop along I-95.)

In an era before TikTok or YouTube, a $16 burger moment would have lasted a few seconds. The man who purchased it might have shaken his head and enjoyed his meal, or even gone back to the checkout to ask if there’d been a mistake when ringing up his order.

But in the social media era, the outrage gets published, elevated and amplified, feeding other people’s indignation about a world where food and housing and gas are more expensive than in the past.

Despite the inflation hangover keeping prices elevated, the economy, by almost any measure, should be one of the biggest feathers in President Joe Biden’s cap over the past three years. But American voters keep telling pollsters that they aren’t feeling all the good news that economists are seeing in the data.

In a CNN poll released earlier this month, 72% of all Americans say things in the country are going badly, and 66% said the economy will be “extremely important” when deciding whom to vote for next year.

A majority — 58% — told CNN in a poll released in September that Biden’s policies have made economic conditions worse.

Even the seemingly isolated incident of the $16 McDonald’s meal reached the desk of the White House Office of Digital Strategy, which tracked it as one of many exaggerated claims about the economy that the Biden administration is struggling to counter, according to the Washington Post.

Perhaps the more significant economic takeaway from the viral McDonald’s meal is not that the meal actually cost $16 but that the man paid for it.

It’s not clear whether the TikTok user who posted the video, Topher Olive, saw the price of the special menu item before he ordered it. (He didn’t respond to CNN’s request to comment Monday.) But McDonald’s doesn’t hide its prices, and it’s clear Olive did pay for it because he filmed the receipt.

That part of the story mirrors a bigger economic trend — that Americans say they feel bad about the economy when asked by pollsters, but their actions tell a different story.

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by Anonymousreply 103November 28, 2023 4:14 PM

Despite higher prices and all-around sour mood, American consumers have been exceptionally willing to spend money on dining out, travel, concert tickets, and all manner of goods.

Consumer spending, the biggest engine of the US economy, powered US gross domestic product to grow at a stunning annualized rate of nearly 5% last quarter — more than double the quarter before that.

That doesn’t mean all Americans are thriving, but it does suggest that the historically strong labor market — unemployment has been under 4% for nearly two years — is giving workers a sense of security about their future paychecks.

by Anonymousreply 104November 28, 2023 4:14 PM

As I said before, it’s not inflation per se, it’s the fact that NOBODY outside of corporate has gotten a raise in 5 years.

While prices may not have gone up “that much”, they’ve still GONE UP and PAY HAS NOT GONE UP.

by Anonymousreply 105November 28, 2023 5:45 PM

[quote] Despite higher prices and all-around sour mood, American consumers have been exceptionally willing to spend money on dining out, travel, concert tickets, and all manner of goods.

This right here is the problem.

Until American non-stop consumerism is curbed, corporations will just keep charging more.

It's like feeding the beast.

American consumers keep paying, and paying, and paying, so there's no incentive for corporations to charge less.

And strangely, people keep paying, despite non-stop price gouging.

I would love for a major event to just bring American consumerism to a complete halt, thereby choking and killing off corporations.

That would be extremely gratifying.

by Anonymousreply 106November 28, 2023 5:49 PM

Actually, wages are increasing faster than inflation right now. Unfortunately, that's mostly for new hires (including people who quit their jobs and move elsewhere), and less so for people who stay in their positions for the long haul.

There really IS incentive right now to job-hop.

by Anonymousreply 107November 28, 2023 6:42 PM

Apparently his staff read DL.

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by Anonymousreply 108November 28, 2023 7:34 PM
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