It’s a new year and 2022 may bring some economic reality to the lives of journalists, even if they are dragged kicking and screaming. Late last year, MSNBC’s wealthy and out of touch Stephanie Ruhle snarked that the “dirty little secret” of inflation is that Americans can afford it just fine. Well, on Friday, she reacted to the dismal December jobs report by calling it a “huge miss” and admitting that “the real problem is inflation.”
Ruhle still sounds cheerleader for Biden’s economy. Talking to Mark Zandi of Moody’s, she appeared bewildered at the downbeat outlook of Americans: “How do you rationalize the economy came roaring back, we have the data to show it, yet when you poll the American people, when you poll workers, only a fraction of U.S. citizens are saying they feel like they’re coming out ahead?”
Zandi reminded, “Yeah, inflation. You know, inflation is up, 40-year high, the consumer price inflation is up almost seven percent year over year through November.” But even Ruhle gets this. Earlier in the segment, she conceded, “For lots of people, though, the real problem is inflation and even the wages have been up and they were up again in December, lots of those gains get completely wiped out when everything costs more.”
Ruhle will now be able to make this change. The November 14 Today, she dismissed the notion that inflation is a major concern: “And the dirty little secret here, Willie [Geist], While no one likes to spend more than they have to, we all have enough money on average to make it worthwhile..” The media personality, who is estimated to have a net worth of between $4 and $5 million, cautioned that we need to “put this in perspective.”
On Friday, however, Ruhle offered less of the tone deaf happy talk, opening the show by announcing the breaking news: “The December jobs report just came out and it showed only 199,000 jobs were added last month. It is quite a surprise. It is less than half of what economists were expecting.”
As for inflation, on January 4 she moved to her current position, telling Nightly News anchor Lester Holt: “The downside across the board, wages aren’t moving up as fast as inflation is.” However, she also saw millions leaving their jobs as a “sign of strength.”
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Below is a partial transcript. Click “expand” to read more.
Stephanie Ruhle Reports
9:00 AM ET
STEPHANIE ROHLE: Good morning, Stephanie Ruhle. I live in New York City at MSNBC’s headquarters. This is Friday, January 7th. We begin this morning’s news with breaking news. It was just released that the December employment report showed that 199,000 more jobs had been added in December. It is quite a disappointment. The unemployment rate fell to 3.9%, which is half what economists expected. This doesn’t show the impact that the Omicron variant is having on employment. Consider all of the cancellations in flights and school closures caused by the huge surge in cases. This means that we won’t be able to see the true impact until the next month’s report.
However, right now the economy is more fluid than it’s been for decades. This week, we were informed that the record number of Americans who quit their jobs or moved to another job in December was 4.5 million. It is part of the “great resignation”. This makes complete sense. You can either take advantage of the high demand from employers to get a better job, or open your own business. However, if you don’t, then you may be falling behind. The real problem for many people is inflation. While wages are up, and increased again in December, many gains become completely lost when everything becomes more expensive. However, even with all the economic good news, only a few workers claim they were ahead of their peers in 2021.
Mark, what do you think? The data is there to support your rationalization of the economic recovery. Only a small fraction of Americans feel that they are winning, despite polling the American population and workers.
MARK ZANDI (Moody’s Analytics chief economist): Yeah, inflation. Inflation is on the rise, at 40 year highs, consumer price inflation increased almost seven percentage points year-over-year through November. Wage growth is robust, according to today’s figures, we saw a close five percent increase in wages, however, that’s still less than the 7% inflation. They’re correct, but they aren’t keeping up. There are many things people purchase regularly, such as gasoline and ground beef. People know this and feel it.