Business owners still recovering from the COVID lockdowns now face more uncertainty with President Joe Biden's executive orders and legislation being pushed by House Democrats.
Biden promises 5.7mil jobs will come with his American Rescue Plan, but that's no guarantee it will pass in the Senate. Meanwhile, Texas, Mississippi and other states are criticized for re-opening their economies ahead of COVID vaccinations.
Texas economist Ray Perryman says uncertainty kills any momentum toward recovery, but believes it's still early to see how policy changes have impacted that recovery. Looking forward, Perryman warns of changing too much, too quickly.
“The really big picture things that really drive the future of the economy are not changing all that much,” he says. “It's just a matter of getting us back to the point where we can all normally do what we normally do in a market system, and to do that we have to get past this pandemic.”
However, he agrees with the Congressional Budget Office which says a $15 an hour minimum wage would crush any struggling small business.
“If you adjusted the current level to inflation you would get to about $8.75 or so. If you add in the productivity adjustments you might get a little north of $9. If you wanted to get started above the poverty level for full-time workers, you need to go to $11. I think all of those numbers are being talked about right now,” says Perryman.
But it's all just talk, according to Perryman, who points out the Dems' "green new deal" remains just an idea for the most part, aside from Biden's order canceling the Keystone XL project.
“We talk about a green new deal, but there's nothing approaching 50 votes in the Senate to pass a green new deal.”