How Biden administration will tackle economic challenges
Brian Deese, Director of the national economic council, outlines what’s ahead.
where there is concern in this room is about what's going on right now, inflation, 30 year high. Consumer confidence may be keen off of inflation decade low uh supply chain problems that don't look like they're going to clear up in the next few months that could persist uh for some amount of time and labor market problems. I mean the the difficulty of of attracting retaining uh people has become a real challenge for many of the businesses in this room. How are those two bills assuming you get the second one passed successfully? How are those going to help with the inflation challenge, the supply chain challenge or the labor force challenge? Well, it's a great question. I will start with some context and many of you lived and operated through all of this. So this is nothing new for you all. But if you think about a year ago, We were at seeing 60% increase in hunger, 60% decline in air travel, 200,000 people a day. Uh contracting COVID nobody with the vaccination. We've really made remarkable progress. We've made remarkable progress economically as well. Um we have the strongest and fastest economic growth of any major developed country in the world. That's true over the last nine months. And it puts the United States in the unique position where we're the only country that has actually reached and exceeded our pre pre pandemic GDP level, one of the strongest labor market recoveries in modern american history, the unemployment rate down to 4.6%. So we have a lot of momentum in this recovery and that's, you know, uh in part a function of the policy steps that we took in and uh and took and in part because our businesses have continued to innovate and serve through this period. So the question I think is how do we build on that momentum while addressing the inflation issues, the supply chain issues and the labor market issues to your question about how these bills would help look infrastructure investments are absolutely essential to making it easier and cheaper to move goods through commerce. I don't need to tell any of the folks in the audience just how important this is some of these are going to be medium term investments. Obviously we're not going to upgrade our courts overnight, but the sooner we start this, I mean we've been waiting for years, in fact decades to make these kind of investments. And even just last week, this week we're starting to see companies knowing that the incentives are going to be there knowing that we're going to make these long term capital investments start to move out on those changes. So I think that that's going to do a lot on the physical infrastructure side. Uh and in terms of investing in our human capital, a lot of what we're trying to do is get more americans back into the workforce into the labor uh force and a lot of that is still either directly or indirectly related to coding. You know, the ability to have quality child care or, as I mentioned before, quality care for an elderly parent is one of the biggest pain points for a lot of working parents and women to get back into the labor force. We make those investments. Now we're gonna uh we're gonna open up a lot more opportunities, housing. We need to build more affordable housing supply in this country and that will reduce price pressures, but also open up more economic opportunities. Because we know that a lot of the opportunity for somebody to move to a new job or a new economic opportunity is constrained today, because they can't find a place to an affordable place to live investing in housing supply. Now will help reduce those price pressures going forward as well.