ZURICH, SWITZERLAND — May 31, 2022 —It is my personal opinion that Joe Biden did an excellent job on Ukraine so far. Making the best out of a difficult situation, I think it is the best piece of U.S. foreign policy in decades. That does not matter much for average voters, however, who care about bread and butter issues, as we call it. “It’s the economy, stupid” political consultant James Carville famously said.
The answer is inflation, which has not been a major problem (in Western countries) for such a long time that people forgot its political implications. And they are huge, because it affects literally each and every single voter directly. If the prices for gasoline, food, and utilities go up, it may not be existential for everybody, but everybody feels it. And herein lies an important difference to unemployment. If jobs are a main problem in a country, there are about, say 10% to 15% of the voters that are directly affected. Many more might worry to become unemployed, but still the number of people that are directly impacted is limited.
(C) 2022, Louis Perron.