At 78 and the oldest president, Biden sees a world changed.

WASHINGTON (AP) – When Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th president, he became not only the oldest newly inaugurated US chief executive in history, but also the oldest president ever.

Biden was born on November 20, 1942 in Scranton, Pennsylvania. He was 78 years old, two months old and one day old at the time of taking oath on Wednesday. He was 78 days older than President Ronald Reagan when he stepped down in 1989.

Take a look at how the country’s leader has changed in his lifetime and how his chairmanship can be reflected.

Bigger, more pie

The US population is approaching 330 million people, dwarfing 135 million when Biden was born, and more than 60% when he was first elected to the Senate in 1972. The world population has grown from around 2.3 billion to 7.8 billion over Biden’s lifetime.

Biden has more striking diversity in America. A descendant of Irish immigrants, Biden was born in the 1920s after a period of relative sedentary immigration, following America’s limitations on new entries, which then led to worldwide depression in the 1930s. But a wave of white European immigration followed World War II, when Biden was young, and more recently the influx of Hispanic and nonimmigrant immigrants from Latin America, Asia, and Africa has again turned the melting pot.

In 1950, the first census after Biden’s birth counted the country as 89% white. Titled in 2020, the country was 60% non-Hispanic white and 76% white, including Hispanic whites.

Therefore, it is no surprise that a politician, who joined almost all of the White Senate as an all-male, nearly 30-year-old, used his inaugural speech 48 years later, one on racial justice Promised to counter and later, later in the afternoon, several prominent signed friendly executive orders.

Biden, Harris and History

Biden paid special attention to Vice President Kamala Harris as the first woman to be elected to national office, and the first black woman and South Asian woman to reach the Vice President. “Don’t tell me things can’t change,” he said of Harris, who was still a student at the mostly segregated Oakland Public Elementary School, when Biden became a senator.

For the first time Biden addresses a joint session of Congress, one speaker will be followed by two women, the first being: Harris and Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California. But change comes slowly. Harris was the second black woman to have ever served in the Senate. When he resigned on Monday, no one was left to the Senate – and just three out of 100 seats were Black men. Black Americans make up about 13% of the population.

money Matters

The minimum wage in 1942 was 30 cents per hour. Median income for men, according to the 1940 census, before Biden was born, was $ 956. Today, the minimum wage is $ 7.25. The federal government’s most recent weekly wage figures reflect an average annual income of about $ 51,100 for full-time workers. But the question is about buying electricity, and that is different. The month Biden was born, a dozen eggs were about 60 cents in US cities – two hours minimum wage work. A loaf of bread was 9 cents, about 20 minutes of work. Today, eggs can go for around $ 1.50 (12 minutes of minimum wage); The bread averages $ 2 (16 minutes).

College tuition is another story. Pre-war tuition at Harvard Business School was about $ 600 per year – about two-thirds of the average American worker’s annual wage. Today, the current Harvard MBA class is charged an annual tuition of more than $ 73,000, or about one year and about five months worth of US salary (and this is before taxes).

Biden has proposed raising the minimum wage to $ 15 per hour – a move already attracting opposition from Republicans. They have called for tuition-free two-year community and technical college and four-year public schools (hence, not Harvard) for students from homes with annual incomes of $ 125,000 or less.


The national debt has increased from $ 72 billion to $ 27 trillion over Biden’s lifetime. But this is a recent phenomenon. Biden completed 36 years in the Senate and became Vice President after recovering from the financial crash of 2008, when the debt was about $ 10 million. Now he takes office amid another economic disaster: the coronovirus epidemic.

In part, this is a biographical book for Biden. He was born when a budget deficit to fund war efforts, measured as a percentage of the overall economy, was the largest in American history until 2020, when emergency COVID spending, the 2017 tax cut And the loss of revenue from a sluggish economy added billions of debt in a single year.

Demonstrating how President Franklin Roosevelt turned to the Great Depression and World War II, Biden is calling for an additional $ 1.9 trillion in immediate deficit spending to prevent a long-term economic slide.


As part of its proposed overhaul of the energy grid, Biden wants to install 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations by 2030, an analyst project that could inspire sales of 25 million electric vehicles. For reference, federal figures counted 33 million cars in the US in 1948, as Biden started grammar school.

A first for silent genesis

Biden is part of the Silent Generation, so named because it falls between the “Greatest Generation”, which ended the Depression and won World War II, and their baby, the Baby Boomers, who went through extensive social and economic changes Identified civil rights era, Vietnam and the Cold War.

True to stereotypes, Biden’s generation looked for decades as if he would see none of his own in the Oval Office. The Greatest Generation created John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Reagan and George HW Bush produced. The Boomers then took power. Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Donald Trump were born in the Boomer years in 1946, over a period of 67 days. Born in 1961, Barack Obama saw his generation as a young boomer.

If his inaugural address gives any indication, Biden is eager to adopt the characteristics of his fickle generations. He tickled through the “cascading crisis” – reminiscent of an epidemic and economic decline and subsequent war effort, a vengeance on race that is an extension of the civil rights era – and the actions of our nation for the time. called upon. “

First reading plan

Biden lived through 14 presidencies before his own debut, almost a third of all presidents. No White House dweller had gone through so many administrations before taking office.


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