President Biden Celebrates Labor Day in Philadelphia, Emphasizing Union Importance and Economic Recovery

President Biden Celebrates Labor Day in Philadelphia, Emphasizing Union Importance and Economic Recovery

President Joe Biden, often touting himself as the most pro-union president in history, made his presence felt at the annual Tri-State Labor Day Parade in Philadelphia on Monday. The Democratic president delivered a speech highlighting the significance of unions in the United States and the nation’s ongoing recovery from the devastating impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

“This Labor Day, we’re celebrating jobs—good-paying jobs that allow you to raise a family, union jobs,” President Biden conveyed to the enthusiastic crowd on Monday.

As the U.S. continues to witness job growth and an increasing number of people re-entering the workforce, President Biden is keen to spotlight these positive trends as he looks ahead to his potential reelection bid in 2024.

“As we approach Labor Day, let’s pause to acknowledge that America is currently experiencing one of its most robust job-creating periods in history,” Biden remarked on Friday, following the announcement that the U.S. had added 187,000 jobs in August. This data serves as evidence of a resilient labor market despite the Federal Reserve’s imposition of high interest rates.

The Labor Department’s report from Friday also revealed a rise in the unemployment rate from 3.5% to 3.8%, marking the highest level since February 2022. However, this increase was driven by a positive factor: 736,000 individuals reentered the job market in the previous month, the most significant influx since January. It’s essential to note that only those actively seeking employment are counted as unemployed.

“People are coming off the sidelines and returning to the workforce,” President Biden emphasized.

At the Tri-State Labor Day event in Philadelphia, hundreds of union workers, proudly displaying their local union attire, including the Sheet Metal Workers, United Food and Commercial Workers, Stagehands, and others, gathered on a warm and humid morning to hear the president’s address.

Lenny Nutter, a resident of Philadelphia wearing a Laborers International Union shirt, attended the event to show support for the President. He noted that unions have become more active, in part due to the policies implemented by President Biden.

“Unions are growing, and more work opportunities have been provided to union workers,” Nutter remarked.

President Biden has taken various executive actions to promote worker organizing, publicly endorsed unionization efforts at major corporations like Amazon, and authorized federal funding to bolster union members’ pensions. Just last week, his administration proposed a new rule that could make 3.6 million more U.S. workers eligible for overtime pay, marking one of the most significant increases in decades.

Additionally, President Biden has traveled the country, emphasizing how union labor is contributing to infrastructure projects such as building bridges and improving train tunnels, as part of the bipartisan $1.1 trillion public works package passed by Congress in 2021.

“Unions elevate standards across industries and the entire workforce, raising wages and enhancing benefits for all,” President Biden emphasized on Friday. “I’ve said it many times: Wall Street didn’t build America. The middle class built America, and unions built the middle class.”

The 36th annual Tri-State Labor Day Parade and Family Celebration is organized by the Philadelphia AFL-CIO, a coalition of over 100 local labor unions representing more than 150,000 workers, according to their website.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell appeared to freeze for about 30 seconds on Wednesday while speaking with reporters after a speech in Covington, Kentucky.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell appeared to freeze for about 30 seconds on Wednesday while speaking with reporters after a speech in Covington, Kentucky.

The incident at the US Capitol late last month and is likely to raise additional questions about the fitness of the 81-year-old to lead the Senate Republican caucus.

A spokesman for McConnell told CNN that the Kentucky Republican “felt momentarily lightheaded and paused during his press conference today.” A McConnell aide added: “While he feels fine, as a prudential measure, the leader will be consulting a physician prior to his next event.”

He later attended a fundraiser for Rep. Jim Banks, who is running for a Senate seat in Indiana – a sign of how he carried on with his schedule as questions persisted Wednesday about his health.

McConnell, the leader of the Senate Republican caucus since 2007, has faced questions about his health throughout the year. He was treated for a concussion and fractured rib after falling at a hotel in Washington in March, returning to the Senate several weeks later.

In late July, McConnell froze for 30 seconds during a news conference on Capitol Hill. At the time, his office said the Kentucky Republican was “lightheaded” and Republicans later said that he was dehydrated. Speaking to reporters after the incident, McConnell insisted he was “fine.”

McConnell and his top deputy, Senate Republican Whip John Thune, spoke Wednesday afternoon after the incident.

What Vivek Ramaswamy doesn’t understand about the Dollar

What Vivek Ramaswamy doesn’t understand about the Dollar

Along with Vivek Ramaswamy’s rise in the polls should come greater scrutiny of his views on economics. In that spirit, I am here to report that — on monetary policy at least — the Republican presidential candidate does not yet have useful recommendations.

Ramaswamy has called for the US Federal Reserve to stabilise the dollar in relation to the price of commodities, rather than to the consumer price index. That formula is unlikely to bring monetary stability (or tame business cycles) in part because commodity prices themselves are notoriously unstable.

Consider the five years leading up to 1994, when consumer prices increased more than 19 percent but most commodity prices fell. Or the years from 2004 to 2008, when commodity prices rose by about three times but US price inflation rates were roughly constant, in the range of 2 percent. In other time periods, the relationship between commodity prices and consumer inflation is murky.

Many commodities are inelastic in supply in the short run. That means when demand rises, or supplies are restricted, prices for those commodities can go up a lot. This happened with the war in Ukraine, which has intermittently caused prices for wheat, oil and gas to skyrocket.