The S&P 500 took a 21% plunge in the first six months of 2022, minting the index’s worst performance in that interval since 1970. President Joe Biden The University of Michigan reports that consumer sentiment is at its lowest level in the history of their survey, which has been running since just after the Second World War. Inflation remains at 8.6%, and the Atlanta Fed’s GDPNow service forecasts that the United States is in the midst of a recession (defined by economists as two quarters of economic contraction). Fair or unfair, headlines like these explain why just 33.4% of Americans approve of President Joe Biden’s job performance on the economy. The tight labor market may be the 46th president’s only viable economic talking point, and even that one is dubious: The labor-force participation rate remains more than one percentage point lower than it was in February 2020.