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I’m no soothsayer, but I can make a few confident predictions about the week ahead.

This coming Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics will report on jobs and wages for September. The August jobs report was a disappointment, mainly because of the negative effects of the Delta COVID variant. I expect the September report to show slow job growth, too. But keep your eye on wage growth. If wages continue to rise as fast as they have been, workers will have more money to purchase all sorts of things — thereby getting the economy back on track.

You’ll also be hearing lots of scaremongering this week about inflation and “labor shortages.” Last Friday, the Fed reported that prices climbed in August at the fastest pace in 30 years. This – along with uncertainty about jobs and the Delta variant – has already rattled the stock market. (But as I’ve said a thousand times, the stock market is not the economy! The richest 1 percent of Americans own half of all stocks, the richest 10 percent own over 80 percent.)

It will expand the capacity of the economy to produce goods and services, thereby relieving shortages and reducing inflation over time.

The major reason for inflation is supply bottlenecks, both in the US and around the world, which are pushing up prices of everything from crude oil to semiconductor chips. These bottlenecks should ease over the year. In fact, so-called “core” inflation (which excludes food and fuel) has been slowing somewhat.

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But this hasn’t stopped Republicans from claiming that the spending Biden and the Democrats want to do will spur more inflation. Rubbish. It will expand the capacity of the economy to produce goods and services, thereby relieving shortages and reducing inflation over time. (When more people have childcare, for example, they’re freer to work – reducing “labor shortages.”)

Republicans also claim that the stronger safety nets in the bill will make people more reluctant to join the labor force. Additional rubbish. America has the weakest safety nets of all rich countries. Giving Americans slightly more economic security will help the economy, by allowing them to get additional skills, change jobs, and get better pay.

robert reich

In many ways, Biden’s plan will improve the lives of the bottom 90 percent of Americans – people who don’t have much wealth and own almost no shares of stock. This is something the corporate backers of Republicans and conservative Democrats don’t seem to care about, but they should.

Robert Reich

Crossposted with permission from Robert Reich's Blog.