(The author is a Latino consultant for American Values 2024).
New York: The main goal of independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr., backed by the American Values 2024 Super PAC, is to restore the United States economy. His campaign proposals are based on the economy. He argues that hardworking individuals should be able to afford a dignified life. That is the foundation of Bobby Kennedy’s economic strategies.
“It’s hard to believe that a blue-collar worker with a high school education could once support a family, take vacations, and even save for retirement. Why is life poorer, not richer, than in the sixties when technology has made our productivity many times more significant? Why do people accept that their lives are gradually getting worse? Kennedy poses a question about his economic proposal.
My task as a Latino consultant for the American Values 2024 Super PAC in this article is to investigate the connections between RFK Jr.’s proposals and the interests of the Latino community. To find that reality, I decided to interview a certified public accountant who has connections with thousands of small Latino businesses and their owners:
Libio Amaury Matos Cordero.
He is a prominent business consultant, financial planner, and credit counselor with over 35 years of experience and a portfolio of over 3,000 small businesses and their owners. He lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
“Firstly, I want to thank the American Values 2024 Super PAC for allowing me to contribute my expertise and economic knowledge to this important report,” commented Matos Cordero.
“Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has quickly gone from being an unknown independent presidential candidate to a true national leader, already making a remarkable mark in all polls.”
“The Latino community is suffering the most serious consequences of the economic mistakes of the Biden administration. The U.S. public debt has increased with all administrations but currently exceeds $31.4 trillion. The Democratic and Republican parties have abused the power given to them by citizens to take control of institutions and reach agreements that negatively impact the country. Both parties prolonged an economic catastrophe threatening to push the entire economy into unknown instability in early June 2023. Subsequently, Congress ratified an agreement between both parties that allowed the suspension of the government’s debt limit,” warns Libio Amaury Matos Cordero, noting that, for the first time in two and a half centuries of history, the United States would have run out of funds to honor its expenses.
“In my office, most clients express deep discontent with President Joe Biden’s economic policies. Hispanics have a pessimistic outlook on the economy because they believe President Biden’s economic policies do not work for them,” said the business consultant, affirming that Hispanics are more concerned about issues such as the economy, employment, and inflation.
Based on his experience with clients, this business consultant aligns with recent survey findings indicating that the main obstacle to Biden’s re-election is the deterioration of the American economy.
In early September 2023, the Libre Institute presented a survey in Washington D.C. demonstrating Latinos’ rejection of the economic policies of the Biden administration, also known as “Bidenomics.” According to the study, Latinos are very dissatisfied with these policies. Only 29% of Hispanic voters think the country is heading in the wrong direction, and 71% think it is heading in the right direction. Moreover, most Hispanics disapprove of the president’s overall job; 69% of surveyed Hispanics said they dislike Biden’s work, and only 31% said they approve of his administration. Hispanics are not satisfied with President Biden’s economic policies; in general, they have a pessimistic view of the economy, and when asked to rate the current state of the economy, only 21% would rate it as excellent or good. In comparison, 79% would rate it as fair or poor. Regarding the future, most are pessimistic:
- 38% expect things to stay the same in 2024.
- 42% expect things to worsen.
- Only 21% believe the economy will improve.
The most significant concern among Latinos is inflation.
84% of Hispanics agree that their quality of life has been negatively impacted by inflation. Concerns about inflation extend beyond political affiliation: 91% of Republicans, 88% of Independents, and 79% of Democrats agreed that inflation has hurt their lives. This is undoubtedly one of the factors contributing to the economic pessimism among Hispanics and their disapproval of Biden’s economic policies.
Latinos connect with Kennedy because he rejects this in his campaign proposal and suggests reversing the mistakes of the last 50 years. “We can restore the American middle class. The massive amount of military machinery has almost brought this country to bankruptcy. As workers have left the middle class, rampant corruption in Washington has put corporations in charge, enriching the wealthiest. Although official unemployment is low, most new job opportunities are in the service sector, paying low wages,” states RFK Jr., emphasizing the economy as a priority.
“The country’s wealth disparity has peaked in the last century. Over 60% of U.S. citizens rely on daily income and lack emergency funds. Since Biden took office, net income after inflation and taxes has decreased by 9%. Under Biden’s leadership, mortgage rates have doubled, and the price of an average home has increased from $250,000 to $400,000. Rents have followed the trend, putting more and more people in jeopardy. But we can change it. It is unnecessary to work more hours to have a decent life, so we propose higher wages and lower bills,” RFK Jr. proposes.
According to Libio Amaury Matos Cordero, Latinos support Kennedy for his proposal to reduce the cost of living in the United States and his economic healing proposal.
Matos explained that to understand the interest of the Latino community in Kennedy’s economic healing proposal in this country, it is necessary to explain how much our community contributes to the United States Gross Domestic Product (GDP). He cited data from the “Official Report on the U.S. Latino GDP 2023” prepared by the non-profit organization Latino Donor Collaborative (LDC), stating that between 2011 and 2021, the economic contribution of Latinos in the United States represented 20.9% of the country’s GDP. If Latinos were a nation, we would be the fifth-largest economy in the world, surpassed only by the United States, China, Germany, and Japan.
These data are derived from the Official Report on the Latino GDP of the PMA for 2023, indicating that the latest Latino Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is $3.2 trillion, and the Latino Purchasing Power (LPP) is $3.4 trillion. Matos said that the Latino economy is expected to soon compete with China’s growth rate, adding that the Latino economy has maintained an annual growth rate higher than all other communities converging in the U.S. economy, with 4.7% compared to 1.9%.
Matos claimed that the Latino workforce in the United States is essential for the success of state economies, citing Florida as an example, where Latinos held over 900,000 jobs, representing 58% of the 1.6 million new jobs created. Latinos accounted for 1.2 million, or 59%, of the 2 million new jobs created in Texas. Latinos represented 87% of California’s new jobs, 1.2 million out of 1.3 million. In Washington, at an advanced technology center, 160,000 new positions were created for Latinos, representing 33.8% of the total 480,000 positions available. In Arizona, Latinos could represent 310,000, or 60%, of the 520,000 new jobs created. In addition to the increase of 12.1 million people in 11 years in the Latino population, representing 52% of the total population growth in the U.S. The report cited by Matos indicates that the Latino labor force participation rate in the U.S. is 5.4% higher than that of non-Latinos.
The business consultant concluded by citing another report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, stating that this rate represents a significant recovery from the employment crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, where the Latino community was among the most affected. In April 2020, the unemployment rate among Hispanics skyrocketed to 18.1% after hovering around 4% before the pandemic.
“In conclusion, it can be said without fear of being wrong that the Latino community has been fluctuating between the Democratic and Republican parties, not supporting either but contributing a punitive vote. That is, they do not vote for one candidate but against another. It is obvious that Latinos are connecting with Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s proposal, based on the structural changes needed in the American economy and society, because such a productive community as Latinos requires a president who restores American values and focuses all resources on the economic healing proposed by RFK Jr.,” concluded Libio Amaury Matos Cordero.