Donald Trump’s economic adviser, Kevin Hassett, spoke to CNN’s Dana Bash on Sunday and discussed America’s economic reopening, Raw Story reported. At one point, Bash asked Hassett if he believes unemployment could be in the double digits in November.
“Yes, I do,” Hassett responded. “But I think all the signs of economic recovery are going to be raging everywhere and the only thing we’re going to be really debating as economists is are we going to get back to where we were or is it going to be kind of a long haul to get there?”
Hassett then suggested that Americans are ready to return to the workforce.
“Our human capital stock is ready to get back to work and so there are lots of reasons to believe we can get going way faster than we have in previous crises.”
White House adviser Kevin Hassett tells CNN he thinks the unemployment rate will still be in double figures in November (which in a sane country would make it almost impossible for a president who started with 4.7 percent unemployment to win reelection) pic.twitter.com/Qte3beXu7s
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) May 24, 2020
Hassett’s use of the phrase “human capital stock” to describe American workers did not sit well with many, who expressed their thoughts on social media.
"Human capital stock" trump economist. never before have mankind been referred as 'capital stock'.
— Elizabeth Humphrey (@lizhump77) May 24, 2020
According to Kevin Hassett, we"re all "human capital stock" expendable to the 1%#HumanCapitalStock
— JP Dietz (@ChefJohanD) May 24, 2020
Just two days ago, Hassett told CNN that he believes the U.S. unemployment rate could hit 22 to 23 percent in May and increase slightly in June. From there, he suggested that the rate would begin to decline, albeit slowly. Nevertheless, Hassett suggested last week that unemployed and furloughed workers may return to work quicker than expected due to what he called the “biggest policy response ever” from politicians and the Fed.
A high unemployment rate could harm Trump’s re-election chances. Before the coronavirus pandemic, the president frequently used high employment and strong economic numbers as talking points in interviews and rallies. Now, he faces an economy that has only just begun to reopen, although whether or not states will need to shut down again in the future remains to be seen.
As noted by Robert Reich in The Guardian, Trump, like Hassett, has suggested that Americans are ready to return to work; Fox News host Sean Hannity took things a step further and suggested Americans are “dying to get back to work.”
But, according to Reich, many Americans must return to work due to the necessity of money, which could be provided to them in rich economies. As Reich noted, America shut down its economy for almost four years during World War II.
As The Inquisitr previously reported, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell predicted earlier this month that the U.S. economy would not likely rebound before 2020 comes to an end. Although Powell noted that an uptick would probably take place during the second half of the year, he suggested a full recovery would hinge on the public’s comfort level.