Financial TimesFinancial Times

America’s feel-bad Biden boom

By Edward Luce

26 Jul 2023 · 3 min read

At a recent health check-up I had a heart-stopping moment. An African-American nurse told me she would probably vote for Donald Trump next year because she felt much better off when he was president. What about the future of US democracy? “I don’t have much time to think about that,” she replied. And Joe Biden’s economic reforms? “I’m not feeling them,” she said. 

Anecdotes can be misleading. But there is data to back up the nurse’s view. Under Trump, US blue-collar wage growth beat inflation for the first time in years. Under Biden they have fallen in real terms. This is why barely a third of Americans approve of Biden’s economic record. It is also partly why only a third of African-Americans — an overwhelmingly pro-Democratic bloc — say that Biden’s policies have helped black people.

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