A tweet today from President Biden's official Twitter/X account—not his campaign account or personal account, but his official, president of the United States, @POTUS account: "I don't look at the economy through the eyes of Wall Street and Park Avenue. I look at it through the eyes of the people I grew up with in Scranton, Pennsylvania or Claymont, Delaware."
What a classic example of the logical fallacy known as a false dichotomy. It doesn't have to be an either/or. It could be a both/and. After all, when Wall Street does well, it's often a good thing for the people in Scranton and Claymont, because it means retirement accounts are swelling and companies are being financed. And anyway, can a president of the United States really afford to be indifferent to the fate of New York City, which is the global financial capital? It sends a negative signal to the country and the world about the welfare of American financial markets when the president of the United States is so openly disparaging of Wall Street. As for Park Avenue, it stretches all the way up into Harlem and the Bronx. Even the buildings in the fancier stretches have doormen and superintendents, and are patrolled by police and firefighters—many of them unionized—whose economic welfare Biden might consider being less dismissive of. For a president who promised to unite America after the divisiveness of the Trump era, running against Wall Street and Park Avenue is not a good look.
Biden is one of the few active Democrats old enough to remember the days of a rising tide lifting all boats rather than an economic policy that pitted Americans against each other. Maybe Biden figures that the Wall Street and Park Avenue types are going to vote for him and donate money to him anyway, even while he stokes populist outrage at them. Maybe he thinks they won't notice? A campaign that stokes class resentment is a nasty thing, whether it is coming from Nikki Haley and Chris Christie, from Donald Trump, or from President Joe Biden himself.