U.S. major party presidential nominees generally agree to three formal debates. But two candidates who haven’t even won their respective nominations are already taking to Twitter to debate the issues.
Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush, Democratic and Republican candidates respectively, are feuding about comments that Bush made earlier this week strongly implying that to generate consistent steady economic growth, Americans need to work longer hours.
Here’s what Bush said that kicked off the testy social media back-and-forth:
“My aspirations for the country — and I believe we can achieve it — is for 4 percent growth as far as the eye can see. Which means we have to be a lot more productive. Workforce participation has to rise from its all-time modern lows. It means that people need to work longer hours and, through their productivity, gain more income for their families. That’s the only way we are going to get out of this rut that we’re in.”
To put it lightly: Clinton didn’t agree.
And Bush quickly responded.
The tricky thing about economic data is that it can be twisted to back almost any argument. Broadly, the economy has been adding jobs steadily for about four and a half years under the Obama administration, though real wages have barely budged for decades. And while Americans are self reporting longer hours, data from employers implies the average work week, which dipped during the recession but has since recovered, has been fairly stagnant.